Embrace Ambition

Female Entrepreneurship Tory Burch
Tory Burch wearing a power suit in her brand's signature shade of orange. 

“Am-bi-tion,” noun: A strong desire to do or to achieve something, typically requiring determination and hard work. 

Ambition has long been treated as a taboo or dirty word in relation to women. Though men can make goals, seek promotions and reach for new heights of success, the same actions in women are often viewed in a negative light. And it’s not only men that look down on ambitious women. Other women are just as guilty of making judgments and harboring this gender bias. 

Research has shown that men and women can have the same credentials and produce the same results, yet be perceived differently. A study was conducted at a university where students were given the same case study, but some received a case about Heidi and others about Howard. Though both cases showcased the character as a successful Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Heidi was perceived to be less likable and less likely to be hired, by both female and male students.  

Negative perceptions of women in power and leadership persist like those from the case study, as well as more tangible disadvantages such as lack of mentors and access to key networks. Knowing this, Tory Burch has stepped in to help close the “ambition gap.” 

Original photo of Tory in her office via toryburch.com

Tory initially made a name for herself as a designer by building a lifestyle brand selling everything from her iconic ballet flats, to clothing, handbags, jewelry and fragrance. But she hasn’t stopped there. 

As a strong female entrepreneur, Tory recognized the power of having access to mentors, education and investors to create a successful business. By forming the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009, Tory has established a forum for women to become empowered and inspired to continue building their own companies.  

The Foundation offers education and access to affordable loans, as well as a competition to win a fellowship. The organization creates an environment of female empowerment, support, education, mentorship and accessible funding. The Foundation extends a hand to other women, cultivating a generation of entrepreneurs and leaders as it “encourage[s] women to take risks, to break down barriers, and to own their ambitions.”

By forming the Tory Burch Foundation, Tory has taken her success beyond herself. Her brand continues to grow in its own right as a pillar of American style. But her legacy is now much larger than the clothing she designs. 

As women enter her foundation’s programs, the hearts and minds of women are forever changed. New leaders are given the opportunity to enter the marketplace with their own ideas and inventions. And then the ripple effect continues as those women make positive impacts in their own communities and families. 
Female Entrepreneurship Tory Burch
Embrace Ambition bracelets stylishly help women with 100% of sales benefitting the Foundation.  

Tory exemplifies the idea of women helping women. We can only get so far on our own. As we each grow stronger, we can extend help, knowledge, and support to build up the women we know. Together, we can change the conversation about women in business and gender equality while closing the ambition gap. As Tory would say, it’s time to embrace your ambition.  

Original photos of Tory Burch and Embrace Ambition bracelets via toryburch.com and toryburchfoundation.org