Self-Valuing Is Essential in Women's Fight for Inclusion & Diversity


In the article is an excerpt of Ava DuVernay's speech during the 22nd annual ELLE Women in Hollywood awards, wherein she spoke on diversity and the need for women to focus on self-care even amidst their struggle for equality in the industry.
One striking part of her insightful speech:
"I invite us to think of this room as a village, one that fights for change on the outside, but one that recognizes that an equal part of that fight is keeping ourselves strong and joyous and sane in a really insane industry. Because our conversation shouldn't be consumed with what he's not doing or what they don't value. We value us. We build our village. We grow stronger."


Ava DuVernay's proposition that women focus on valuing themselves and others while not losing sight of their goal to be on equal footing with men is worth pondering, and a sound principle to live out. Here is a fresh take in the struggle for equality and the fight for greater diversity in the film industry.

That Ava DuVernay stated she hated the word "diversity" should not be taken literally at that; on the contrary, Ms. DuVernay herself stresses that women ought to raise their voices more, to convey the message that more women ought to be given equal opportunities for work and advancement.

To ask to be included is a huge part in the fight for seeing greater diversity. Diversity and inclusion go hand in hand, and everyone should step up in their diversity efforts, decision makers and women alike, as Ms. DuVernay said: There's more to do particularly in Hollywood, so we have to be vigilant. We have to ask our agents about that script by the woman screenwriter. We have to ask, 'Hey, are there any women agents here that I could talk to?' We have to ask our lawyers about women in the office. We have to ask when we're thinking about directors or DPs, Will women interview? This is something that the powerful women who are in front of the camera can do for all of us.

Everyone should strive to contribute to the struggle - even if nothing seems to be happening. Yet it also pays to approach the problem with stronger tools: that of knowing and appreciating one's self-worth as a person. It is all about who one is, and not just what one does.

When women know and appreciate their own worth, their self-confidence grows, they can see others in better light, as well, and be more supportive. The stronger that women can project their self-confidence springing from deeper self-knowledge and self-appreciation, the better they can be in a position to stand up for themselves and demand for their rights.

Women do not have to make themselves look like victims at all, nor should they be needy nor combative in their stance in the never-ending fight for greater equality, diversity and inclusion. In this way indeed, can women also stay happy and keep their sanity -- much like those people in that black village in the story narrated to Ms. DuVernay in her childhood.

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