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Empowering women from minority ethnic backgrounds across Scotland to secure sustainable employment.


Smart Works Scotland shares how funding from the ScottishPower Foundation is supporting women from minority ethnic backgrounds in Glasgow and across Scotland into sustainable employment and helping them to flourish in their new job.

Carys Roberts

Smart Works Scotland was incredibly proud to be one of just nineteen charities chosen by the ScottishPower Foundation to receive funding to support progressive and impactful projects that help transform lives.

Our vital 12-month project to develop and grow our service to support women from minority ethnic backgrounds – both in Glasgow through our in-person service and across Scotland through our virtual service - has come at a time when our work has never been needed more.

Smart Works Scotland supports unemployed women with free high-quality clothing, shoes, and accessories and one-to-one coaching to help them see their true value, succeed at interview, and transform their lives. 71% of the women that come to Smart Works Scotland secure a job within one month of their appointment with us.

Our project is already well underway, thanks to the funding from the ScottishPower Foundation, with the recruitment of our dedicated Outreach Project Officer, Carys Roberts, who has been busy developing our outreach strategy, nurturing key partnerships, planning referrer events, and arranging the translation of our marketing material into three different languages.

Reflecting on our new role, Carys said:

“It’s an honour to be working on this vital project. I love expanding the reach of a service I am so passionate about. It is a joy to see women realise their potential and leave their appointments feeling empowered.

“Concerningly, employment rates for ethnic minority women in Scotland are still lagging significantly behind those for white women; I am proud to be leading on a project which strives to address these inequalities and ensure we are focusing on lifting up all women into employment.”

We were off to a flying start in May, inviting representatives from partner organisations to our Glasgow centre to hear more about our plans, including our interpreter service and translated materials, and to provide their valuable feedback.

Referral organisations included One Parent Families Scotland, Sharpen Her: African Women’s Network, Community InfoSource, Bethany Christian Trust, Making Work Work, International Women’s Group and Me, Myself and I.

“The event was awesome. The project is a welcome development – much needed.” Angie Mwafulirwa, Sharpen Her: African Women’s Network.

With the decision made to translate our marketing materials into Arabic, Urdu and Kurdish, Carys is now planning a variety of outreach initiatives including a ‘Launch and Learn’ event in August, client workshops in September, and meetings with a raft of different existing and prospective referral partners across Glasgow.

It’s going to be a busy twelve months, but with this project being developed in response to a clear need to ensure our service reaches the women who need it the most, we couldn’t be more excited by the prospect, and grateful to the ScottishPower Foundation for so generously making it possible.

Smart Works Scotland Referrer event