This post was originally published in The Voice on March 9, and has been edited.
The Tory Burch Foundation, of the designer line, Tory Burch, has just launched a new campaign #EmbraceAmbition encouraging women to be ambitious people, despite the negativity they may face by doing so. The campaign released a public service announcement, PSA, video featuring known powerful women such as Jamie Lee Curtis, Reese Witherspoon, Yari Shahidi, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kerry Washington, Julianne Moore, and many more. The PSA was shared on the Tory Burch Foundation Twitter account as well as the Tory Burch Twitter account. Watch the PSA below.
Hillary Clinton retweeted the PSA adding, “Good message anytime, especially now. #EmbraceAmbition.” The PSA features much of what Clinton stands for: equality for women, encouraging women/girls to be powerful and confident, taking risks, not giving into fear, and having big dreams because women can accomplish them.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 7, 2017
Per the CBS This Morning Twitter account, one of Tory Burch’s reasons for this campaign is that “when a man is ambitious it is celebrated, when a woman is ambitious it is somehow distasteful.” Women everywhere have had the experience that because they were a strong leader, or a woman with a goal they were to perceived to be a “b*tch, or power hungry, or an “ice woman.” Yet, when men are perceived to be ambitious, they’re met with words like confident, strong, a good leader, etc. Why is it so hard for this nation to understand that women can be ambitious?
Women are not just stay-at-home moms anymore. Women have full-time jobs in difficult occupations. They work hard and are capable of so much more than just cleaning and cooking and being a mother. There is nothing wrong with a woman who stays home to take care of her kids, as there is nothing wrong with a father who decides to do so; but the idea that ambitious women with goals to achieve greatness in areas outside of domestic affairs are somehow lesser women or b**tches is dated, sexist, and being torn to shreds by powerful women. And we see this with the Tory Burch Foundation’s new PSA and #EmbraceAmbition campaign.
The campaign wants to empower women to establish big dreams, to not fear achieving greatness because some man may try to belittle her or her success. The campaign wants women to embrace that they are capable of anything they put their minds to, and to go out and accomplish all their career and life goals without hesitation or negativity imposed by sexism.
The campaign draws attention to the problem that ambition has become a dirty word in terms of women being ambitious. It is looked down on, the opposite of when men are ambitious. The Tory Burch Foundation website asks individuals to take the pledge to #EmbraceAmbition in women. Their PSA featured plenty of powerful and successful women, and also some men who are standing up and raising awareness that we need to encourage women to be successful, powerful, and ambitious for our future.
We’ve seen recently in cinema how three black women impacted the NASA community, a community typically known for being male dominated, in the movie “Hidden Figures.” Those women made a world of difference in science. Had they given into their fears, and the sexism, and prejudice placed upon them they would not have been the successful accomplished women they were. That is the idea behind the #EmbraceAmbition campaign. Women need to be encouraged to battle their fears and sexism so that they may be confident, powerful, and well-accomplished. Women being successful in their careers, does not only better the individual woman, but the world. A young girl may capable of discovering the cure for cancer someday, but if she is discouraged from STEM courses and careers, then we may never see it happen. A woman may be capable of developing artificial organs to eliminate a donor list that requires someone to die to save a life. But, if we discourage women from pursuing their dreams and being ambitious, then we prevent that from happening.
Women are equal to men in intellect and ability. A woman can accomplish any task a man can, if she is encouraged to pursue it. We cannot only count on men to be our future, but women too. We are in this world together and the future is female. We need to #EmbraceAmbition of women to ensure it is.