March 8 marks International Women’s Day, the day the Tory Burch Foundation will launch a global campaign encouraging women to embrace ambition. It’s a cause inspired both by dire statistics about women in leadership positions (only four percent of CEOs in Fortune 500 companies are women, and women only hold less than 20 percent of board seats) and by the designer’s personal experience.
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“In my first interview with The New York Times in 2004, when the reporter mentioned the word ‘ambitious,’ I commented that the word annoyed me,” Burch recalled in a press release. “I realized that I had bought into the stigma that women shouldn’t be ambitious–that it was unattractive. That creates a harmful double standard that we must overcome to achieve equality.”
To get the message across, Burch enlisted a star-studded cast of powerful figures in entertainment, sports, business, and fashion to take part in a PSA. Among the notable faces are Gwyneth Paltrow, Julianne Moore, Reese Witherspoon, Yara Shahidi, Diane Kruger, Gabby Douglas, Laila Ali, and Sheryl Sandberg.
The foundation encourages people to take part in the #EmbraceAmbition campaign by taking the pledge on EmbraceAmbition.org and sharing their ambitions on social media. The website also features resources on how to build confidence, studies on ambition, and career advice from female CEOs.
Tory Burch will also be selling a range of bracelets and t-shirts supporting the #EmbraceAmbition initiative. One hundred percent of proceeds will benefit the Tory Burch Foundation’s mission to support women entrepreneurs.