Serena Williams writes: ‘We must continue to dream big’

Serena Williams reminds everyone that barriers still exist in women’s sports. (Adam Davy/Reuters/Pool)

Tennis Star Serena Williams used her place in Porter magazine’s Incredible Women of 2016 issue to, once again, talk about the barriers of race and gender both she and other women have faced as they work to accomplish their dreams.

Photograph/Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

Photograph/Jacopo Raule/Getty Images

“I learned not to be afraid. I learned how important it is to fight for a dream and, most importantly, to dream big,” Williams writes. “My fight began when I was three and I haven’t taken a break since.”

Acknowledging the many advances all women have made of the years, Williams takes a swing in her letter at the still aggressively unfair wage gap saying, “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.”

Williams addresses her letter to “all incredible women who strive for excellence” and concludes her powerful message with a call action addressing the importance of setting a pathway for ” the next generation.”

“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.”

 

The full letter can be read here, published by The Guardian.

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