Empowering Young Women for Job Success
Smart Works and IntoUniversity joined together with a shared mission: to help young women feel confident, empowered and secure life-changing internships. As two charities that support people from disadvantaged circumstances to achieve their potential, it was a natural and kindred partnership, and an innovative way of working together. Both partners identified a need for young women at the start of their careers, who were unlikely to have experienced a corporate environment before, to receive personalised support to prepare for and succeed at interviews. IntoUniversity embedded a referral to Smart Works within their Big City Bright Future internship programme, giving the students professional insight and advice. Every young woman received a bespoke dressing consultation, a high-quality interview outfit (free and hers to keep) and one-to-one interview coaching. The partnership initially started in London and then successfully expanded across the UK. An open and collaborative relationship between two committed partners has enabled its success and longevity. Three years and four cohorts later, Smart Works has supported 368 IntoUniversity students, with 68% successfully securing an internship. The partnership's success has grown year on year, doubling the number of women supported and increasing the success rate from 54% to a record-breaking 96% in 2022.