iQ Interview Series: Stephanie Hamano on Community Giving

November 23, 2022
By iQ Staff
iQ interview series with Stephanie Hamano

Stephanie Hamano is economic advancement director at Dress for Success, a YWCA Oahu program with a mission to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. 


1. Tell us about how Dress for Success Honolulu impacts the community.

Dress for Success is about giving women the tools, a network of support, professional attire, and most importantly, a boost of confidence to help women thrive in work and in life. We all know that our employment and careers ebbs and flows through life and there are times when we need support to get through those transitions. Dress for Success starts off by providing women appropriate attire for interviews and employment and job readiness to help them feel confident. Once they land the job, women continue to receive support from Dress for Success in the form of support for career advancement and professional development opportunities. Our support does not stop; we are here for women when they need us along their employment journey.


"Our support does not stop; we are here for women when they need us along their employment journey."


2. For people who want to help, what would you want them to know?

Our team donated professional clothes and shoes to the Dress for Success program as part of our annual all-company meeting.


We would truly appreciate support in the form of monetary donations to our program. We provide all of our services completely free of charge to all clients; we do not turn anyone away. It is because of generous donations that we are able to continue doing this. Please visit our donation page here.


3. Are you able to share an inspiring story of someone that the organization has touched?

Renee came to Dress for Success because she was needing professional wear to job search. She had been laid off from her job during Covid and needed to get back to work. Once she received our “Styling” service, she then began receiving invitations to attend our Professional Women’s Group (PWG) events where she heard a presentation about Hana Career Pathways, a program that offers free job training through the Community Colleges. She then enrolled in the Medical Assistant program, will finish the program soon, and already has a job offer with a local hospital. She was able to participate in a job training that did not leave her with a debt, gained a skill that is in high demand and was able to obtain gainful employment. Once she starts working again, she can count on DFS for ongoing support so she can excel at her job and advance in her career. Through PWG, women learn about job opportunities, hear from representatives of various industries to consider new/different careers, and learn from subject matter experts on all things related to employment support, such as self-care, financial stability and civic leadership.


Click here to donate to Dress for Success.

Photos via Dress For Success