The relationship between Fitted for Work and leading Australian law firm Clayton Utz has spanned more than a decade. The support Clayton Utz provides is multi-faceted, ranging from financial grants and staff who volunteer their time, to hosting Fitted for Work events and running an annual clothing drive.
Talia took on a co-ordination role between the two organisations 9 months ago. Talia had twice volunteered to take part in Fitted for Work’s Women Exiting Prison program. The program helps women facing release from incarceration plan for the important aspects of looking for work once they are back living in the community.
Talia is a big advocate of Fitted for Work. “I absolutely love the prison program – it’s such an innovative idea,” says Talia. “People don’t really think about the effect of being separated for a long time from family and society in general. It’s really difficult for these women to reintegrate into society, let alone get back out there and find a job.”
Talia was so impressed with the important work Fitted for Work is doing to help women make the transition from prison life to paid work in the community that she put her hand up to co-ordinate the relationship on the Clayton Utz side.
“The fact that Clayton Utz people are able to support an organisation such as Fitted for Work in a practical way is one of the biggest highlights for me. It’s really rewarding,” she says. “We can have our lawyers visit the prison to see first-hand how the program works and in return we get to help women who really need it. Dealing with commercial law every day, we don’t always get to experience that human element.”
Fitted for Work’s underlying message of female empowerment resonates with Talia. “It permeates everything you do. Even Fitted for Work’s breakfast sessions [generously hosted by Clayton Utz] contain this message which is relevant to all women.”
Talia would like to see women finding their voices more. “There has been a shift in how seriously we’re taken professionally but there’s still a long way to go. We need to keep doing things to push the conversation.” According to Talia, however, being a woman at Clayton Utz is not a disadvantage in anyway. She sees men and women offered the same opportunities. “Clayton Utz is a firm that is very committed to equal opportunity and gender equality,” she says.
She sees Clayton Utz’s partnership with Fitted for Work as a great fit. “Fitted for Work’s message pretty much speaks for itself. The organisation is well known within the firm because of the different elements it brings to our Community Connect program,” says Talia. “It’s extremely rewarding to co-ordinate our involvement with Fitted for Work and also see firsthand the benefits of how we’re supporting the community through the organisation. Our people really enjoy the Fitted for Work relationship.”