This Women's History Month, Venus Williams proves strength has no gender


Venus Williams is surrounded by women. She is one of five sisters, one of the all-time greats of women's tennis and has launched her own women's fashion line. She's surely no stranger to strong, resilient ladies -- herself included.

And that's one thing she wants to make clear: strength has no gender.

"I firmly believe in that," Williams told "Strength is strength, resilience is resilience."

This Women's History Month, Williams is partnering with Brawny to empower women from all walks of life, all around the world. The iconic Brawny Man is stepping aside throughout March to instead celebrate strong women everywhere.

"We have something very exciting happening with having a female on the packaging," Williams said of Brawny's campaign.

Women's History Month first began in 1986 and, after many petitions, was officially declared country-wide in 1987. Resilient and inspirational women have been celebrated for all 31 days of March ever since.

"There are so many amazing women in so many different fields," Williams said of the women featured in Brawny's #StrengthHasNoGender campaign. "As an athlete, I'm really happy to be in that company, too."

Since becoming a professional tennis player in 1994, Venus Williams has racked up an incredible seven Grand Slam Singles titles, 14 Grand Slam Doubles titles alongside sister Serena (including Wimbledon last year) and four Olympic gold medals. She has also launched an interior design firm, V Starr Interiors, and her clothing line, EleVen.

That kind of success doesn't come without plenty of hard work and support.

"My older sisters have been very wonderful women and strong role models for me," she said, adding that younger sister Serena is "not only influencing me, but pretty much the world."

Especially when in competition with her sister or the other well-known women in tennis, Williams stresses that women need to "empower each other by example."

The same can be said for the corporate world, where women have historically had fewer opportunities than men.

"It's very similar [to tennis]. You put a ton of work into it -- a ton of dedication, a lot of preparation, and you learn a lot from the end result," Williams said of being a businesswoman. "It's constant improvement."

"I wish I was perfect but I'm always learning," she added with a laugh.

As far as the roadblocks she's faced on the way to success, Williams says she actually relished those difficult times.

"That's part of life," she said. "Everyone faces resistance in some way. Some of us have a little bit more resistance than others, but that's the best part -- enjoying that battle."

"When you get to where you're going, we always remember the adversity that we faced and you don't always remember what was easy. That's the best part of it all, knowing that you overcame. There's no better feeling."

Williams and Brawny are urging people to share the stories of the strong women in their life using the hashtag #StrengthHasNoGender on social media all throughout Women's History Month. You can see some of those posts below: