Natalie Portman stole the show at Variety’s Power of Women event last week when she gave a rousing 15-minute speech on gender parity, sexual assault and the power of protest.
Taking to the stage to thank the organisers of the event, Portman then launched into a passionate speech about the myths surrounding gender parity, and the real reasons behind the lack of women in managerial and C-level positions across the world. The actress and activist described the discrepancy between women being trained and educated in certain areas, and the number of women in top-level jobs in these same areas; an issue, Portman said, has nothing to do with maternity leave.
Portman blasted the fact that predatory figures are still at large in Hollywood, citing shamed film producer Harvey Weinstein as a case in point, as he is still free on bail and has had part of the sexual assault case against him dropped by New York prosecutors.
Portman finished her speech with impassioned directions to all women in the audience on how to achieve real change in the face of discrimination. She advised women to give or raise money for the Legal Defense Fund; to gather with other activists; to encourage diverse and inclusive spaces, and to demand and advocate for equal pay and diverse teams in their own workplaces. Portman also coined the term “gossip well” – advising women to stop and question a man’s motives when he attempts to besmirch a female colleague.
Portman has received rave reviews for her speech online, with social media praising her passion. You can watch her speech in full here: