Seven-time Grand Slam champion Venus Williams admitted that she was bothered by the unequal pay in tennis and she was determined to make changes.
Williams, who lifted her maiden Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2000, was giving her best to raise the awareness about the prize money unequal pay between the women and men and it paid off.
In 2007 at Wimbledon, Williams – who at the time lifted her fourth Wimbledon title – was paid the same as Roger Federer (the 2007 Wimbledon men’s champion).
“Early on in my career there were definitely moments that opened my eyes to inequality between men and women, like disproportionate court times. I saw how many women’s matches were on center courts at combined events for women and men. When you’re relegated to a side court, you notice that,” Williams wrote for Newsweek Magazine. “Experiencing prize money that wasn’t equal was incredibly significant. No man had to experience that, but every woman did. That was pretty glaring until I became the first woman to receive equal prize money at Wimbledon in 2007.”
Williams: We have to continue our fight
To this day, Williams has remained a strong advocate for the gender equality.
In tennis, the women are now paid the same as their male colleagues – but only at the Grand Slam level.
Williams is happy with the work that has been done but adds their fight needs to continue.
“It’s important that none of us tire out because there’s a lot of work to do. And each person can do their part. So whether you’re mentoring women, whether you’re an athlete young women are watching or whether you’re a parent, everyone is touching the lives of women and girls. So we all need to play our part,” Williams said. “Someone like Billie Jean King couldn’t just think about her tennis, she had to carry all these other things. I love that there is now a generation that gets to focus on their sport. But at the same time, I want them to understand that they can continue to elevate women.”