Byline: Andrea M. Grossman

NEW YORK — Women executives at Clairol will begin mentoring women new to the workforce in areas such as office politics and childcare in a program aimed at increasing job retention.
The program, called Clairol StyleWorks Job Retention Program, is the first of its kind for Brooklyn-based StyleWorks, a nonprofit organization that currently provides free makeovers and guidance in the interview process for women moving from welfare to the workforce.
StyleWorks founder and executive director Malaak Compton-Rock, wife of comedian and actor Chris Rock, believes the mentoring tier of StyleWorks is just as important — if not more important — than the tier that provides salon and skin services for women going on job interviews.
“The makeovers help their appearance, self-esteem and confidence to fit into the corporate culture. The mentoring part keeps them in the workforce and successful at their jobs,” Compton-Rock said.
Most of StyleWorks’s clients are transferring from welfare to the workforce. They are referred to StyleWorks by 10 New York City-based job training and employee referral companies for makeover services. The mentoring program serves clients of StyleWorks who have successfully attained jobs, but who are struggling with common workplace issues such as “child care, transportation, not understanding the corporate culture and an employee-boss situation,” said Compton-Rock.
Yesterday, 50 Clairol executives were assigned one StyleWorks client for a one-year period. Mentors and clients will be matched based on answers from questionnaires filled out by Clairol volunteers, which asked about family size and hobbies. Client and mentor are encouraged to speak at least once a week via phone, fax or e-mail.
Volunteer Maureen Buckley-O’Hora, a senior product manager at Clairol and mother of two said, “All of us want to give back to the community,” and this program allows her to do so. O’Hora is prepared for the responsibility mentoring requires: She currently serves as a mentor to associate-level employees at Clairol and volunteers at her church. Compton-Rock said she chose Clairol’s women executives to mentor her clients since past meetings with Clairol have always been “very easy and comfortable. I think that will transfer well to the clients,” Compton-Rock said. StyleWorks has accomplished more than 300 makeovers since last October and operates solely on volunteer help and donations from salons, image consultants, makeup and hair care companies. However, on Oct. 24, StyleWorks looks to gain additional support when Clairol hosts a fundraising breakfast and accessory drive at Manhattan’s Marriott Marquis Hotel. The $75-per-person event will honor U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman and will be attended by Miss Universe 1999, Mpule Kwelagobe. Clairol expects 300 to 500 attendees.

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