What happens when you decide to quit your life? 

For millions of women all over the world, the pandemic afforded them the opportunity to reinvent themselves, even if that evolution was prompted by one of the most terrifying events in recent history. 

Michele C. Meyer-Shipp, Esq. can attest to this. 

In 2020, she was appointed as the chief people and culture officer role at MLB. Beginning her career as an employment attorney, her job was primarily dedicated to helping clients navigate employee crises and develop policies that fostered healthy workplaces. In her MLB role, she came onboard  to help create pipeline opportunities to boost diversity, something that was sorely needed within the organization. 

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that numbers for Black women serving in leadership positions in the MLB back office were very low.  Meyer-Shipp, always a change agent, said she took the role to make a positive impact from the inside out. But soon after, she, like many others, realized her job no longer served her. 

“I think it’s fair to say that I became one of those people that makes up what they’re calling the Great Resignation,” she shared with Essence.  “When the pandemic happened, I really started to think about giving back and being able to have a role where I could actually literally touch the client and see the outcome immediately.” 

In 2021, Meyer-Shipp stepped away from the role to help put things in perspective. She wasn’t alone. More than 2 million women have left the workforce in the last two years and some have vowed to only return when it feels right. 

“I took some time off to reflect on my skills, my strengths, my abilities, and the things I was passionate about that would allow me to make an immediate impact on the lives of others, in particular those who are underrepresented and underserved,” she said. “And as I was undergoing this  profound kind of self reflection, I was approached for an opportunity to work with Dress for Success Worldwide.” 

After reading the job description, she said she realized the role was directly aligned to her passion.

Dress For Success (DFS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping women take ownership of their lives, outfits them with professional attire to assist in their job search journey. But it’s not just about the clothes—DFS is in the business of lasting transformative change. One initiative designed to enforce this  is Your Hour, Her Power. The organization teamed up with Arm & Hammer Laundry, Chloe Wine Collection, Sono Bello, and Takeda to launch the campaign, which is aimed to help women get back to work and achieve economic equality. Participants are asked to donate just one hour of their pay to help change a woman’s life. All proceeds will go towards Dress For Success programs, services, and tools. 

“I’m so excited about Your Hour, Her Power,” she said. “The funds will be used to support the programs and the services that we offer to all of the women we serve, women who come through our doors, meaning career support, job search, prep, development and mentorship.” 

Through the course of the campaign, Dress For Success will also celebrate female leaders that are breaking glass ceilings in their own way. Honorees include Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts and actress Scarlett Johansson among others.  

“Our goal with the campaign and our overall mission within the organization is to help people realize that access to opportunities can change so many women’s lives–she will indeed be powerful beyond measure. I’m a true testament to that.”