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Serena Williams Opens Up About Sharing Parenting Responsibilities: “It’s All About Equality”

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Serena Williams is a busy athlete and an equally busy mom, but she strikes a good balance between her work and home life by sharing her parenting responsibilities. In an interview with Woman’s Day, Serena said she believes that women are disproportionately expected to handle the pressures and responsibilities of being parents and that parenting should be divided equally.

“I feel like a lot of stuff is put on women when men can also parent and do a really good job at being parents,” she said. “It’s only talked about the pressures on women of being superheroes. For me, it’s all about equality and making sure that everyone is treated the same.

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As a world-renowned athlete, a businesswoman, and a mother to 2-year-old Olympia, Serena has a lot to balance, but she and her husband Alexis Ohanian seem to make it work by sharing their parenting duties evenly. Following a much-needed 16 weeks of paternity leave with his daughter, Alexis made the badass decision to step down from his position as the cofounder of Reddit to spend more time with his baby girl. “I was a believer [in paternity leave] before, but now I wholeheartedly believe that every single dad should take it,” Alexis said in an interview with Fortune.

Serena Williams

In a later interview, Alexis added that he and Serena are fortunate to have the jobs that they do which, while busy, allow them to make time for their daughter. “The understanding of my responsibility to care for my family that I gained during those first months after Olympia’s birth has never left me, and it gives purpose to my fatherhood today,” Alexis wrote for NYT Parenting.

Serena Willliams

Despite the struggles that their work-life balance poses, both Alexis and Serena manage to make plenty of time for Olympia. “I’m a really hands-on mom,” Serena said, pointing out that she and Olympia share an interest in fashion and even athletics. “Her latest thing is running,” she added. “I hate that, but I do it because she loves it. It’s when you just chase her all day. I run for a living; the last thing I want to do is chase you. But she loves it.”

If Serena and Alexis’s Instagram photos are anything to go by, it looks like sharing the pressures of parenting is working just fine for them and Olympia. Keep scrolling to see a few memorable moments Olympia has shared with both of her parents ahead.

Serena Williams signs up for a gender equality campaign
Serena Williams

Procter & Gamble Co.’s Secret has signed Serena Williams around the brand’s gender-equality work, donating an additional $1 million to the cause to which the brand has already donated $1 million in the past year.

As a part of the deal, the former World No.1 will appear in ads for Secret’s “All Strength No Sweat” campaign commencing next month. The campaign will be launched with a study in sports and how gender bias takes place from high school to professional levels”.

“We’re going to take those learnings and identify the key opportunities for how we—Serena and Secret—are going to spend the next $1 million,” said Sara Saunders, Associate Brand Director for Secret.

Serena Williams

“We really want to understand things from the women themselves who are living it. The key reason we wanted to sign Serena is that she has the insight into equality and bias on a much deeper level because of the career that she’s had”.

“It’s very important to me that I use my platform to bring attention to the many issues faced by women in sports and to call for meaningful change,” Williams said in a statement. “The Secret brand has been answering that very call for years by taking real action to support female athletes.

Sports changed my life and I feel compelled to continue giving back to ensure a brighter future for partnership closely to further the fight for gender equality for all athletes”. Speaking about how Williams’ was thought about for this campaign, Saunders explained, “We know from a personal side that she’s a dedicated sister, daughter and mother. We just felt that she was a really well-rounded champion who really fit well with our brand”.

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