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Dress for Success Cleveland cultivating women leaders

Posted at 6:00 AM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 18:54:23-05

CLEVELAND — Dress for Success Cleveland is making sure women entering the workforce, or those already there, excel personally as well as professionally, not only helping ladies with their appearance but arming them with the skills they need to be successful.

News 5 caught up with one woman helping lead the charge for change.

In a male-dominated industry, Pat Ramsey has cut through the glass-ceiling while silencing naysayers as she broke into banking.

“A lot of ladies are just struggling with self-confidence within themselves,” said Ramsey.

Now the Vice President of Community and Economic Development at Fifth Third Bank, Ramsey is sharing what she's learned with women enrolled in Dress for Success Cleveland.

“What we’re trying to do is grow a community. This town is one great big circle of support for each other,” said Ramsey.

While the name of the organization might have you thinking about clothing, it goes well beyond a woman’s appearance.

“It’s not just looking right. It’s getting people ready for the job; it’s getting their skills ready,” said Ramsey.

Ramsey, along with a team of women bankers, regularly attend workforce readiness workshops to share valuable advice.

"Never become cynical. Be respectful and listen,” said Ramsey. “Learning how to become a team leader, how to work the job, work with the people.”

She also wants to show women what's possible when they put in the work.

“Whatever audience I am in, I don’t care who the audience is, I try to make it real,” said Ramsey.

That authenticity, as well as always being a lady, are among Ramsey's top tips.

“A lot of young women were trying to act like a man in the workplace. And you know what? That’s not necessary,” said Ramsey.

Every time Ramsey runs into someone who took part in Dress for Success Cleveland, the most recent a woman from her church, she’s reminded of just how important this program is for positioning women in places they might not ever imagine seeing themselves.

“She just explained how much Dress for Success gave her the courage, the momentum to move forward,” said Ramsey. “We’re trying to make sure we look our best and we are presented the best way.”