The budding entrepreneur shares her thoughts about women in business

By Tim Nudd
Updated December 01, 2020 09:30 PM
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Credit: Startraks Photo/REX

She’s a famous actress and new mom. But Blake Lively has her sights set on a third goal that would be just as impressive – a graduate degree in business from Harvard.

“I have a dream to go to Harvard Business School, and one of these days I will do that … in my spare time!” Lively, 27, tells Britain’s Stylist magazine.

And it’s not just a pipe dream.

The Age of Adaline star already runs her own business, the lifestyle website Preserve. And she has no shortage of opinions about entrepreneurial women.

“There are a lot of women in business, but they don’t get enough opportunities,” she says. “If you look at the facts, women spend the most on e-commerce sites, yet less than 30 percent of the companies that venture capitalists fund are female-driven, even though female-run companies are the most successful. Women connect with other women. So why are we are not looking at the numbers?”

Opportunities are changing for women. But even positive milestones are, in a way, bittersweet, Lively says.

“Look at what is happening with Hillary Clinton, it’s something to be very proud of. It’s so uplifting,” says Lively. “But the fact that we have to be proud of this advancement is a bit upsetting. I think whatever side you stand on, the fact that there’s never been a woman leading this country where there are women leading households and leading companies, is a bit upsetting. What makes people think a man is more equipped to do that than a woman? Nothing.”

Harvard may have to wait for a little while, though. After all, the actress and her husband, Ryan Reynolds, do have their acting projects, plus a baby girl, keeping them quite busy.

On the latter score, Lively admits she was terrified leaving the hospital after giving birth – “It felt like being a passenger on a plane and being told: ‘By the way, now you are going to be piloting the plane’ – but has since hit her stride, with a little help from her parents, Ernie and Elaine.

“They raised five kids, so they know what they are doing,” she says. “They haven’t moved in, but they visit for long periods of time, and then they’ll go away and make us beg them to come back!”

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