WOMEN
05/24/2017 11:25 am ET

Serena Williams' First Move In Silicon Valley Is Asking About The Pay Gap

As a SurveyMonkey board member, she sent out a survey to her followers.

Serena Williams announced on Twitter Wednesday morning that she is joining the board of SurveyMonkey. Along with the announcement, the 35-year-old tennis champion also tweeted a link to a survey (obviously) asking her followers what issues are important to them. 

“In recent years, we’ve made progress in closing the gender pay gap in professional tennis,” the survey reads. “How much progress, if any, has there been where you work?”

Williams’ survey also asks participants to check off what other topics they’d like her to address, such as “breaking barriers” or “training for excellence.” There is an open response field as well, so that people can write in any thoughts or concerns that she didn’t explicitly ask about. 

It’s notable that Williams is joining the board of a tech company and ostensibly planning to use her platform to address inequalities within that industry. The tech industry is notorious for widespread sexism, which manifests in part in pay inequality. For example,  a 2016 Ohio State Study found that women with Ph.Ds in STEM fields, make 31 percent less than men in the year after they graduate.

As a pro tennis player, Williams has long been a vocal advocate for gender equality in sports. In November, she published an open letter in The Guardian specifically addressing the pay gap and how women are treated in society writ large. 

“As we know, women have to break down many barriers on the road to success,” Williams wrote. “One of those barriers is the way we are constantly reminded we are not men, as if it is a flaw.” 

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