Some designers may have been reluctant to address the overturning of Roe v. Wade, but Tory Burch was not one of them. As a vocal supporter of women’s rights, the business mogul was among the first to respond to the news. “I am outraged by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, stripping women of the constitutional right to make safe, informed choices about their own bodies,” Burch wrote in a letter posted on Instagram. “This decision was a giant step backwards for women, but we are undeterred and know we need to step up now more than ever. I believe in a world where women are free to make choices that are right for them – and not be penalized for those choices.”
Burch went a step further and shared how her business is working to protect reproductive rights. “We are reviewing our benefits plans to ensure there are no obstacles to abortion access and reproductive care for employees who must travel outside of their state,” she wrote.
As a child, Burch was first introduced to the concept of women’s empowerment by her mother. “My mother taught me a very simple and fundamental truth: women are capable of anything,” Burch told POPSUGAR over email. The fashion designer put that principle into action with the launch of the Tory Burch Foundation in 2009, making it her mission to champion women entrepreneurs. “I understood the obstacles they face: access to capital, limited childcare support, stereotypes and biases, I could go on and on. I wanted to address those issues to help other women follow their dreams.”
Through the organization, Burch has not only funded several women-owned businesses, but she’s also facilitated powerful conversations among women. The recent Embrace Ambition summit on June 14 was a clear example, with its focus on pressing women’s issues including systemic racism, prison reform, abortion rights, mental health, and gun violence.
“I believe in a world where women are free to make choices that are right for them – and not be penalized for those choices.”
While she acknowledges that progress is being made toward greater representation for women in business, Burch insists we still have a long way to go. “Companies need to be held accountable, but it isn’t just about representation – women are incredible investments,” she says. “They think differently than men; they are visionary, collaborative, and bring unique skills to decision-making. Simply put, women are good for business.”
After the Embrace Ambition summit, the designer spoke further with POPSUGAR about her foundation’s mission, the women who’ve shaped her career, and her advice for young women entrepreneurs.