Tory recently wrote a LinkedIn Influencer article, “Don’t Wait For Doors to Open,” on the double standard for how ambition is perceived in women and men. Read the full story below.
“Only 4.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are women. Clearly, we have a long way to go and we’re not going to get there by hiding the fact that we are ambitious. Yes, there are some systematic impediments to success for women such as access to capital, but perhaps the greatest obstacles to equality in the workplace and launching our own businesses are some of the cultural norms that we ourselves perpetuate.
“Be mindful of your words and actions. Ask yourself: Did you really need to modify that sentence with “just,” “I think maybe,” or “kind of”? Why did I sit against the wall rather than at the table in the last business meeting? Have I downplayed my desire to move up and succeed? And, if you’re in the position of managing other women, help them find their voice. If they sell themselves short, let them know.
“Entrepreneurs in particular need to be ready to seize opportunities. You must also have the courage to dream big. I realized early on that if I wasn’t out of my comfort zone, I wasn’t thinking big enough.
“Our goal at the Tory Burch Foundation is to give women entrepreneurs the tools to level the playing field by providing access to affordable loans, education, and networking. But we also believe that in order to succeed, women must embrace ambition. Our inaugural national Tory Burch Foundation Fellows Competition provides the platform for 30 finalists to promote themselves and to ask their networks to support them. They are all currently profiled on our website, ToryBurchFoundation.org and the public is invited to vote for their favorite. Putting myself out there was always a challenge, so I’m proud of these entrepreneurs for taking a risk and pursuing their dreams.
“I look forward to the days when the cultural norms that hold women back are simply a part of our history and not our present circumstance. When ambition in a woman doesn’t have a negative connotation. I no longer shy away from the word ambition. I embrace it. #EmbraceAmbition”