Tory Burch on why empowering women is ingrained in her company’s DNA

CEO Tory Burch began her business as a way to introduce her specific classic and bohemian style to the market. With over 250 stores across the globe, Burch has been largely successful in that goal, but she’s also been able to achieve her other dream- to empower female entrepreneurs. Through the Tory Burch Foundation, Burch has been able to not only inspire female entrepreneurs but to give them the tools to help their businesses thrive.

Ladders spoke with Burch to hear about her drive to empower women entrepreneurs, her thoughts on the Tory Burch company culture, and how she makes decisions about partnerships.

Why did you feel compelled to extend your career past fashion and into female empowerment?

“Empowering women has been part of our brand DNA from the very beginning. Our Foundation was written into my business plan. It really is at the core of who we are.”

The Fellowship program is about to launch its fifth year, what’s been the most exciting part of the program?

“The community we are able to create with the women of the program has been incredibly inspiring. This past June we brought 50 women entrepreneurs to New York for a series of workshops and networking events. Most of these women are solo entrepreneurs, starting and running their businesses alone, between taking care of children. It’s so important to create spaces for these women to connect and support each other.”

tory burch foundation
Courtesy Tory Burch

What’s been the most unexpected aspect of the Fellowship program?

“I am continually blown away by the women of this program. They are changing their respective industries with grace, grit, and confidence.”

How do you plan to embrace ambition for the rest of 2019 and in 2020?

“I embrace my ambitions every day but I very much look forward to our 2020 Embrace Ambition Summit!”

Your brand is attached to your person, which makes it even more important to enter into partnerships that are the right fit. How do you go about deciding what is right? For example, with the new partnership with Shiseido?

“I think it’s about intuition and making sure you’re aligned in your vision for the future. We work with people who we share values with and who reflect those values in all that they do.”

What’s special about the work culture at Tory Burch?

“My parents taught me to be entrepreneurial in everything I do. It is something I believe in passionately and we encourage in our employees.”

What advice would you give to someone interviewing at Tory Burch?

“Embrace your ambitions and all that you want to achieve!”