Isabella’s Success Story
Finding a job in this global pandemic is a tough but fantastic opportunity. However, the grunt work doesn’t stop once the role is secured. Many are facing a whole new obstacle: starting these roles entirely from home.
In February this year, a multinational consultancy firm partnered with SheWorks to recruit for an executive assistant role supporting three senior partners in their financial advisory division. SheWorks identified Isabella* as an excellent candidate and encouraged her to apply. She was successful, and at the beginning of the first COVID-19 lockdown, Isabella took on the task of working from home.
“I am pretty grateful for the challenges [my two young sons and I] have experienced as a coloured, foreign, single-parent family on a pension,” says Isabella. “They have prepared us for COVID-19.”
Five months into her job and Isabella still hasn’t been inside the company offices. But working from home is working for her and her family. She saves time, money and energy otherwise spent on public transport and after school care for her sons. The unprecedented flexibility of her new job, where the focus is on output rather than hours, is helping them all to thrive.
“Flexible work means that I complete my work when I work better and also means I can help my sons with their school work,” says Isabella. “I am truly grateful for time with my sons.”
Before landing her new job at the consulting firm, Isabella worked in online marketing and management. She then spent several years searching for work on her own and through four different employment agencies.
“I felt humiliated,” says Isabella. “I experienced rampant racism and discrimination with agencies.”
The Salvation Army recommended Isabella contact Fitted for Work, where she was finally “treated like a person”.
The Fitted for Work team put together some suitable outfits for Isabella and worked alongside her to improve her resumé and interview skills.
“I felt completely welcomed and respected by Fitted for Work,” she says. “SheWorks believes in you.”
Using her new skills, Isabella had secured an unpaid internship at a local primary school while studying Education Support.
When she saw SheWorks was recruiting for the executive assistant role, she didn’t think she fit all the criteria. But with backing from the SheWorks team Isabella still applied.
“I didn’t have the experience, but I had transferable skills,” she says.
Now, Isabella is at last reaping the rewards of her hard work and persistence in a company where she feels supported.
“One of the things that I love so much about working for them is that you have these three men in very powerful positions, and they trust me,” says Isabella. “They trust me with their expenses. They trust me to invoice their clients. It’s just so nice for them to believe in me.”
*Name changed to protect privacy.