ambition is not a dirty word

Sarah Jessica Parker on What Women of Different Ages Think of the Word ‘Ambition’

Sarah Jessica Parker.
Sarah Jessica Parker. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

At a Tribeca Film Festival screening last night, Sarah Jessica Parker told the Cut that there’s “almost a generational thing at this point” between women who actively describe themselves as ambitious and those who don’t.

The actress, producer, designer, and female-empowerment advocate moderated a discussion at the #ActuallySheCan screenings at the Tribeca Film Festival yesterday. The three short films focused on women thriving in their field: from mushing to designing lingerie. Parker led a discussion on women in the industry afterward in which there was a divide between women who used the word ambitious to describe themselves.

“I think for so long [the word] had this blindness connected to it,” Parker told the Cut. “It meant that you weren’t aware of anything on either side of this drive. It was this one-lane road and you had to be unpleasant and it didn’t involve a conversation and it wasn’t collaborative when it was applied to a woman. And I just think it’s kind of an old-fashioned, negative connotation. It’s almost a generational thing at this point: the word ambition, and what it means, and how careful are you about saying “I’m ambitious or not ambitious.” Driven is a word, conviction, passion, energy, direction: Those are all words that you hear more and ambition kind of gets swallowed up, it’s the word that houses all the other ones.”

Here’s hoping the word continues to be less stigmatized … and women are seen as less of a “risk.”

Sarah Jessica Parker on the ‘Ambition’ Age Gap