Design Mogul Tory Burch Discusses Equal Pay, Feminism & Ambition In TIME Op-Ed

She’s the name and face of a billion-dollar brand, and designer and business mogul Tory Burch is using her platform and success to advocate for other women in the workforce. In a recent op-ed for, Tory spoke about the need for equal pay, and why feminism and ambition shouldn’t be considered dirty words.

“Astoundingly, 54 years after the United States passed the Equal Pay Act, women still do not have pay parity with men, especially women of color,” she began.

It is crazy to think that in 2017, the most powerful country on earth still cannot boast that is is the most equal country on earth. Tory explains how starting out, she was told never to mention “social responsibility” and “business” in the same sentence, but how she doesn’t think that is good advice anymore. Pointing to the way the current Trump administration is hell bent on rolling back any progress being made for women’s equality, Tory says businesses have more of a social responsibility than ever before to go to bat for women.

“Recently, the current U.S. Administration halted the equal pay data collection rule, which aimed to help close the wage gap by having large companies report what they pay employees by race and gender. The White House argued that this would put too large a burden on businesses. Whether you agree or not, it’s clear something must be done, and we should not wait for the government to take the lead,” she said.

While legislation is important in order to protect the interests of people as well as businesses, those in the private sector with power, platform and influence can make a huge difference regardless by ensuring their own work environment and culture is one that promotes equality.

We’ve seen how Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has been a very outspoken advocate about this issue ever since he learned of women being paid less than men in his company for doing the same job. And while there is a tendency for some to be naysayers of the wage gap or make excuses for why women shouldn’t be paid the same, data shows wage equality is good for business.

“Countless studies have shown that equal pay for women would add billions of dollars to the American economy. Studies have also proven that companies that have women in leadership positions outperform those that do not; and equal pay could cut poverty rates in half, helping the most vulnerable,” writes Tory.

Acknowledging the inequality is the first step, but it is also important to fight back against the ingrained culture that has been a major barrier preventing women from powerful leadership positions, especially in the C-suite, and in other areas of society such as politics. As a business woman and CEO herself, Tory says there also has to be a major shift in the way feminism and ambition are talked about if women are to succeed at an equal rate as men.

“We must acknowledge — and shatter — the antiquated stereotypes that impact women’s equality. Let’s start with the stereotype that feminists hate men. We don’t. We detest inequality. Equality makes the world a better place — for men and women,” she said.

When it comes to ambition, she believes this is something that needs to be fostered more among women, and pointed to a global campaign the Tory Burch Foundation launched on International Women’s Day earlier this year called ‘Embrace Ambition’.

“Women also need to challenge the behaviors in themselves that have contributed to holding them back…To this day, ambition is often celebrated in a man and disdained in a woman. As a result, many women go to great lengths to hide theirs. Women must be able to express their ambition and not be judged as aggressive or ‘not team players’,” she said.

In conclusion she urged businesses to take the lead and be conscious about making commitments to furthering equality among their employees.

“There are so many contributing factors to pay inequality that it necessitates constant reassessment. If businesses want to realize their full potential as corporate citizens, this is a necessary step forward for everyone,” she said.

If being in business really is all about the bottom line, then the data should be proof enough that equality makes sense. You can watch The Tory Burch Foundation’s Embrace Ambition video below:





One Comment

  1. Pingback: Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga Explains How The Company Closed The Gender Wage Gap - GirlTalkHQ

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