The Circuit: 2015 Bay Street Suit Challenge

What: 2015 Bay Street Suit Challenge Wrap Party
Where: Irish Embassy Pub & Grill
When: June 16, 2015

Dress for Success, a non-profit that provides professional attire to low-income women looking for employment, held a wrap party last month for the winners of its annual suit drive.

This year, the Bay Street Suit Challenge collected a record-breaking number of garments  — more than 11,800 — which beats last year’s total by nearly 2,500.

Awards were presented in three categories, based on company size. The winners were:

  • Small Business Category (fewer than 400 employees)
    • Property Divas (Sutton Group Signature Realty) with 622 garments
  • Medium Business Category (400 to 799 employees)
    • McCarthy Tétrault LLP with 808 garments (followed by Torys LLP with 442 garments and Miller Thomson LLP with 328 garments)
  • Large Business Category (800+ employees)
    • Scotiabank with 4,141 garments

“This competition is a win-win for over 2,000 people from impoverished families living in Toronto,” says Debbie Lupton, executive director of Dress for Success. “The clothing collected will provide our clients with a complete wardrobe for interviews and employment.”

The Bay Street Suit Challenge also raised more than $45,000 for Dress for Success.

“The donations and proceeds collected will transform lives,” says Lupton. “It will allow clients to achieve economic independence through our pre- and post-employment support programs.”

Dress for Success Toronto provides clients from low-income families a complete wardrobe for interviews and employment, as well as ongoing post-employment support. To find out more about Dress for Success, please visit their website.

The Circuit: The 4th Annual Young Women in Law Charity Gala

What: 4th Annual Young Women in Law Charity Gala
Where: Bloke and 4th, 401 King St. W
When: February 27, 2014

“No matter what you do, you’ve got to have a brand,” Jeanne Beker, host of Fashion Television, told an audience of 300 lawyers at last night’s Young Women in Law Charity Gala.

Hosted this year at Toronto’s downtown dining lounge Bloke & 4th, the annual gala invites speakers outside the legal profession to address — and inspire — women in their early years of practice.

“This isn’t a world that rewards followers,” Beker continued, in her characteristically pithy style. “Success comes to those with unique voices who colour outside the lines.”

Beker may not be a lawyer, but lawyers can learn a lot from her career, said Adrian Walrath, co-director of events at Young Women in Law. “Jeanne has shown an ability to brand herself and create a business — she has a clothing line, books and a television show — and I think lawyers are also, in a sense, small business owners who need to market themselves to clients.”

Indeed, lawyers need to do more than “sit at their desk and work really hard,” said Erica Young, president of Young Women in Law.

“You need to know what kind of lawyer you are and what your niche is,” said Carrie Heller, president of the legal recruiting firm The Heller Group, the gala’s title sponsor. “You need to know what distinguishes you from other lawyers.”

Beyond the thought-provoking conversation, the event has another worthy purpose: all proceeds from the gala were donated to Dress for Success, a charity that provides professional attire and career support to disadvantaged women.

This is the third year Precedent has covered the Young Women in Law Charity Gala! Check out our pictures from the 2011 and 2012. Invite us to your party!