The women joined forces for the Women's Media Center Awards on Thursday

By Jessica Fecteau
Updated November 06, 2015 06:10 PM
Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage;Andrew Toth/FilmMagic;

Amy Schumer continues to rack up accolades for her women’s rights advocacy.

When the Emmy-winning comedian and Trainwreck star, 34, opened the Women’s Media Center Awards on Thursday addressing body image and women in Hollywood, she got a nod of approval from feminist icon Gloria Steinem.

The 81-year-old author and activist, who co-founded the Center, told PEOPLE, she admires Schumer’s efforts.

“Making people laugh is a powerful tool that women weren’t supposed to have, so women in stand-up comedy and comedy of all kinds have had a tough time and she’s really broken through in a big way,” Steinem tells PEOPLE.

Everything You Need to Know About Amy Schumer

She adds, “She’s so smart and I was thinking when I went to see Trainwreck, I had suddenly realized I had never before in my life sat in a theater with a really sexual movie being shown and not worried about being incinerated, humiliated, condemned for either being too sexual or not sexual enough and that’s a gift. She’s giving women that gift.”

Oscar-winner Sally Field, 69, also told PEOPLE she is a fan of Schumer.

“I just feel so enamored and grateful for these young voices that are really speaking out and finally saying, ‘Wait a minute!'” she tells PEOPLE. “And that’s so many of them from Tina Fey to Amy Poehler and Lena Dunham and Jen Lawrence and saying there’s some things that need to be fixed.”