Forbes considers Tory Burch to be one of America’s richest self-made women, estimating her net worth at $850 million. Judged today by her competence, strategic thinking and brand positioning, Tory Burch, who previously worked at Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang, says that when she launched her lifestyle brand in 2004, she wan’t taken very seriously.
Burch joined ultimate equal-pay activist Lilly Ledbetter to discuss the impact of the gender pay gap in a Forbes Women’s Summit discussion moderated by Cosmopolitan editor Jessica Pels. Ledbetter is known as the Alabama area manager at a Goodyear plant who learned through an anonymous note that she was paid 35%-40% less than men in her same position.
Ledbetter’s case wound its way through the US court system, until the Supreme Court in 2007 overturned a $3 million verdict in her favor, ruling that pay discrimination lawsuits must filed within 180 days of her first unequal paycheck. President Obama effectively nullified the court’s decision in 2009, making the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the first new law of his administration. Obama stipulated that the statute of limitations for filing equal-pay lawsuits based on pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck that is part of the discriminatory act.