"Know that your voice is important, and fight until it's heard," the actress told PEOPLE.
Listen up, ladies! – Taraji P. Henson has something to say when it comes to empowering women.
“Just don’t take no s–––,” Henson, 45, told PEOPLE at the 2016 Women In Film Crystal + Lucy Awards in Los Angeles on Wednesday. “You know, know you have a voice. Know that your voice is important, and fight until it’s heard. That’s what I did.”
The Empire star, who received the Lucy Award for Excellence in Television, expressed her gratitude while advising women to let their voices be heard.
“People are honoring me, and that’s because I’ve worked my a–– off to let people know that my voice is important, and you will not smother me,” she said. “You will not tell me that I’m not important. You will not tell me. So that’s how I build a career. I watched a lot of people eat crow.”
When receiving her award, Henson called out to all women – not those strictly in the industry – and encouraged them to continue the fight for equality in the workplace.
“We’re all we got ladies,” the actress told the crowd. “If we don’t support each other, who will? We have a bad rap sometimes in this industry – diva, difficult, catty. When all we’re doing is, in those moments when you call us being difficult, we’re fighting for what we deserve.”
She added, “If I do a job just as well as a man, people tune in every week, they see me, they root for me just like they root for him. Why should my pay be less than his?”