Serena Williams recently penned a powerful letter to all women, and it’s definitely a must read!
In an open letter published by The Guardian, the famed tennis player encouraged women to “push for greatness” and go after their dreams wholeheartedly, even in a world where there is still inequality between women and men. “We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits,” Serena included.
Serena also denounced unequal pay between genders and the perception in today’s world that women, no matter what they do, are still not men, “as if it is a flaw.”
Read the motivational letter in full below:
To all incredible women who strive for excellence,
When I was growing up, I had a dream. I’m sure you did, too. My dream wasn’t like that of an average kid, my dream was to be the best tennis player in the world. Not the best “female” tennis player in the world.
I was fortunate to have a family that supported my dream and encouraged me to follow it. I learned not to be afraid. I learned how important it is to fight for a dream and, most importantly, to dream big. My fight began when I was three and I haven’t taken a break since.
But as we know, too often women are not supported enough or are discouraged from choosing their path. I hope together we can change that. For me, it was a question of resilience. What others marked as flaws or disadvantages about myself – my race, my gender – I embraced as fuel for my success. I never let anything or anyone define me or my potential. I controlled my future.
So when the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you.
As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success. One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw. People call me one of the “world’s greatest female athletes”. Do they say LeBron is one of the world’s best male athletes? Is Tiger? Federer? Why not? They are certainly not female. We should never let this go unchallenged. We should always be judged by our achievements, not by our gender.
For everything I’ve achieved in my life, I am profoundly grateful to have experienced the highs and lows that come with success. It is my hope that my story, and yours, will inspire all young women out there to push for greatness and follow their dreams with steadfast resilience. We must continue to dream big, and in doing so, we empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.
This letter really inspired me. REALLY. Equality for women is nothing new to read about, and Serena has always been outspoken on the issue, but it’s always an extra push for me personally. Reading this letter inspired me, especially knowing Serena’s story as she worked her way to the top, and is still killing it! I love that she shut down being called one of the best “female athletes.” No, she’s one of the best athletes of all time period. It’s a push to all women to continue to put in work, shut down stereotypes, and tear down barriers, IN SPITE of the obstacles we face just because we’re not male. It’s really hard at times, but we definitely got this ladies!