Serena Williams recently found herself in the midst of controversy after the New York Times mistakenly used a picture of her sister Venus Williams in an article about herself. The article in question was regarding the former World No. 1's venture capital firm 'Serena Ventures' successfully raising $111 million during its inaugural fund raise campaign.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion publicly called out the newspaper over its mistake, even hinting at a potential racial angle to the incident because of "unaware biases." Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg Technology yesterday, the American expanded further on the affair.
Williams remarked that incidents such as this were what led her to establish Serena Ventures in the first place. If an African American athlete as distinguished as herself cannot be treated with the bare minimum respect, the 40-year-old noted that it was time to bring in more black investors and change the narrative.
"I think it's really important for other women and other people of color to see that you're not the only one struggling. I've been World No. 1 for eons and won more Grand Slams than I could even find. The fact that that can still happen [to me] is why we have Serena Ventures," Williams said.
It is a sentiment that Serena Williams has expressed in the past as well, where she revealed that her firm's goal is to bring in a more diverse perspective to the investment landscape.
The American stated that she wanted to treat the incident as an "opportunity" to show other minorities that they were not the only ones being overlooked by the prevailing institutions. The only solution to that, in Williams' opinion, was to "write the big checks" and negotiate from a position of power.
"I've been through a lot in my career and my life, and I don't let one thing tick me off too much. For me, I processed [the incident] as an opportunity to use it to let other people know that you are not the only one overlooked and let other people know that this is why I am raising Serena Ventures," Williams said. "This is why I want to make an impact, because we need people like me writing the big checks to change that narrative."
The 23-time Grand Slam champion also said that black people should not be okay with being overlooked by people who did not think they mattered. Instead, she wanted to be at the forefront of this inevitable change in narrative and demand due recognition wherever necessary.
"We don't have to be overlooked and just thought on, and like, "Okay, let me just write this as fast as I can. I'm not even going to think about it because it doesn't even matter to me." So, it's really about changing that narrative," Serena Williams said.
"I know what it takes to be the best in the world at something, I bring that to the table" - Serena Williams
Serena Williams also touched on her role at her investment firm during the interview. The 40-year-old declared that she knew what her strengths were, which included the willingness to learn and pulling out all the stops on the road to success.
Remarking that she knew what it took to be "the best in the world," the 23-time Grand Slam champion added that her company benefited immensely from the "champion mentality" she brought to the table.
"It's really about having a winning attitude and just about understanding that you have to put a lot of time into this. You have to put a lot of effort into learning. I am the kind of person who really likes to do their homework and do their due diligence and just be the best at it," Serena Williams said.
"I know what it takes to be the best in the world at something. I bring that to the table and also that champion mentality. I like winning, so it's about figuring out what it takes to win and applying that to this part of my life," she added.