Tory Burch Was Told Not To Call Herself Ambitious

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – NOVEMBER 11: Tory Burch speaks onstage at the 2019 Glamour Women Of The Year Awards at Alice Tully Hall on November 11, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Glamour )

Every year Glamour magazine celebrates women deemed powerful game-changers, risk-takers, and policymakers who push the culture forward. On Monday night, actress Charlize Theron, activist Greta Thunberg, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, actress Yara Shahidi, FIFA World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe, the women behind the organization The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), and designer Tory Burch were honored in New York City’s Lincoln Center for their contributions.

“Throughout this year at Glamour, we have celebrated women that are going big, whose influence we’ve felt reverberating beyond just a single moment,” said editor-in-chief Samantha Barry in a press release. “When we started to think about who to honor as our Women of the Year, we realized that these women are not just promoting one issue or one conversation, they are using their voices and platforms to have a lasting impact for generations to come. This group of exceptional women are having the tough conversations that open doors and forge new paths on issues ranging from equal pay to climate change. They’re inspiring cross-generational people globally and we are proud to honor them as Women of the Year.”

Burch, in her acceptance speech, talked about the hardships of being an ambitious businesswoman. “I presented my business plan to a group of men — they were investors,” Burch tells the audience, including Anna Wintour, Halima Aden, and Bethann Hardison. “And I told them that I was going to build a business that focused on ambition. They completely said to me: Never, ever say that again. Never talk about business and social responsibility.”

And for that reason, Burch decided to launch #EmbraceAmbition. “It was to create a new power move,” she says. The goal? “To start real and meaningful change around this topic. We need men to be part of this conversation. Women are the best investments. If women participated equally with men in the global economy, the GDP would go up by five trillion dollars with women entrepreneurs.”

Before signing off, Burch charged the audience “to remember the world will say no to you in so many different ways,” only asking that women “say yes to yourself and know that you have women, you have me, supporting you and rooting for you all along the way.”

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