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‘We’d Love To Hire More Women, There Just Aren’t Enough Who Are Qualified.’ Challenge Accepted.

What's the best way to fight back against an industry that keeps making the same lame excuses about why they won't hire you? Make those excuses irrelevant.

Courtesy of Alice Saisha and Farwisa Farhan

Tory Burch and Upworthy have partnered to honor incredible women making an impact this year.

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"There are two powers in the world; one is the sword and the other is the pen. There is a third power stronger than both, that of women.” — Malala Yousafzai

When women are encouraged to nurture their gifts and empowered to embrace their ambitions, they can truly change the world for the better. Upworthy and Tory Burch partnered this year to help women do just that by honoring amazing women for their contributions and giving them $5,000 on behalf of the Tory Burch Foundation to donate to a non-profit of their choice.

Meet the 14 women who have been honored in 2021 for their diverse commitments to making the world a more hopeful, healthy, and just place.

Victoria Sanusi: Destigmatizing Mental Health

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Victoria Sanusi started the Black Gals Livin' podcast with her friend Jas in 2018. Victoria and Jas chat about various things, but listeners especially appreciate how the podcast destigmatizes mental health. “I think perhaps for our listeners, hearing someone who looks like them experiencing low moods, depression, and anxiety makes them feel less alone,” she says. Sanusi donated her $5,000 to the Black LGBTQIA+ Fund, which helps fund therapy sessions for people in the Black LGBTQIA+ community.

Though 2021 has been a tough year for many, these impressive women and their organizations are giving back to their community in incredible ways. Empowered women inspire others, and if we want to see greater progress in our world, we need to empower more women.

Thankfully, that’s something we can all help with. Tory Burch and Upworthy are looking for more extraordinary women to honor, so if you know an empowered woman, nominate her here. Learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program here.

Let’s all celebrate the amazing women in our lives and give them the gift of recognition they deserve.

10-year-old Mason lovingly cared for his 18-month-old brother at 3 a.m. so that his mom could get some rest.

The best feeling as a parent is when your child does something that exemplifies good character without being asked and without expecting any recognition or reward for it. Seeing your kid practicing patience, kindness and helpfulness, even when they think no one is looking—that's when you know that all your hard parenting work is paying off.

So when you're a mom with six kids and the baby monitor you have in your 18-month-old's nursery shows your 10-year-old stepping up to help his little brother—in the middle of the night, no less—your heart might melt a little. And when he tells you the thoughtful reason why he didn't just come and get you when he heard his brother fussing, your heart might just explode.

A viral TikTok captured this scenario at Gloria McIntosh's house in Ohio last December, and it could not be sweeter.

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Photo courtesy of Macy's
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Seven year-old Pastor knows that simple joys make life worthwhile. He loves visits from Santa. And he loves a good hamburger.

However, unlike most kids his age, Pastor is bravely battling leukemia. After a year of doctors’ visits and painful cancer treatments, Pastor and his family needed a break. That’s when Macy’s and Make-A-Wish® stepped in to help lighten up Pastor’s year.

Make-A-Wish is a nonprofit that helps fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses. While some children wish for celebrity meetups or trips abroad, Pastor’s wish was specific and sweet: he wanted to meet Santa for a hamburger near his home in Sacramento.

To make it happen, Pastor’s local Make-A-Wish chapter reached out to its longtime partner Macy’s to arrange Santa’s journey from the North Pole to California.

Pastor arrived at the store in a white stretch limousine and was welcomed by smiling elves surrounded by hundreds of red and white balloons. Inside, Santa greeted Pastor from a silver throne inside a winter wonderland packed with oversized candy canes, golden gift boxes, and evergreens decked out in Christmas lights. Together they picked out ornaments from the Macy’s holiday display, then left the store together to visit Santa’s reindeer. After their big day, the pair feasted on burgers and hot chocolate with family and friends.

“When we heard about Pastor’s sweet wish to meet Santa, we quickly thought of our partners at Macy’s and what a wonderful tie-in to the annual Macy’s Believe letter-writing campaign,” said Michele Sanders, Vice President of Strategic Communications for Make-A-Wish. “Pastor, his entire family, and all involved were in awe of the ‘winter wonderland’ created just for him and Santa.”

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Nadia Popovici's life saving message at the Kraken/Canucks game in Seattle via Twitter

Hockey fan Nadia Popovici had been watching the Vancouver Canucks play the Seattle Kraken when she noticed something off putting from the stands that set off alarms from her training as a medical student.

As Canucks assistant equipment manager Brian Hamilton approached the bench, Popovici noticed a small mole on the back of his neck. The marking might have seemed innocent enough, but thanks to her experience volunteering for oncology wards, Popovici recognized the potential danger lurking. So, she quickly took action.

“The mole on the back of your neck is cancer,” read Popovici’s message in big boldly colored letters on her phone screen. It took a few attempts to get her message across during the hustle and bustle of the game, but she eventually got Hamiliton’s attention through the plexiglass.

And sure enough, her on-the-spot prognosis was right.

Hamilton received a biopsy which confirmed that the mole had been cancerous. And if it had gone unaddressed, it would have been life threatening.

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Two northern cardinals captured on Carla Rhodes' bird-feeder camera.

The pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their surroundings. When you’re stuck at home more often than you’d like, you start to pay a lot more attention to what goes on in your own backyard.

This type of introspection inspired wildlife photographer Carla Rhodes to get a closer look at the furry friends that live near her home in the Catskill mountains of New York.

What she found was magical.

“The winter of 2020-2021 was particularly brutal to humankind. After months of enduring the Covid-19 pandemic, we were now collectively slogging through winter. As a result of being stuck at home, I focused on my immediate surroundings like never before,” Rhodes said in a statement.

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