Charlize Theron says women in the entertainment industry need to “push each other to keep using our voices and platforms for something greater than ourselves”.
The Hollywood actress was presented with the Sherry Lansing leadership award at The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment event on Wednesday.
Theron said she viewed the accolade “less as a mark of accomplishment, but more as a challenge to keep doing the work” and urged other women to “keep each other accountable”.
She was presented with the award by her friend, comedian and actor Seth Rogen.
In her acceptance speech she told attendees that leadership “is not a one-person game, especially for women” and that a sense of community was needed.
“I’m looking out and I see an entire room of some of the most powerful women in the world who all showed up this morning to help make a bit of a change. You know it means something when this many women agree to a red carpet in full glam at 8am on a Wednesday,” she said.
“I want us to keep each other accountable, use each other as resources, and push each other to keep using our voices and platforms for something greater than ourselves.
She added: “I guess all of this is to say, leadership is not a one-person game, especially for women.
“We need community, not just to build one another up, but to help pass the baton to the next generation of great women who will undoubtedly be up here one day, telling us how they solved the climate crisis or how they became the first (female) American president.
“We all want that or we wouldn’t be here today.”
Theron added that as well as her successful acting and producing career, she also finds great joy in her charitable work with her foundation, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP).
“I take this leadership award less as a mark of accomplishment, but more as a challenge to keep doing the work,” she said.
“I see that being done today here, with the scholarships being given out, these young people I absolutely know are going to use that to make giant waves in their communities.”
US actress Issa Rae was recognised with the Equity in Entertainment Award, given to an individual who amplifies the voices of under-represented communities in the entertainment industry.
The Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment event took place at the Fairmont Century Plaza hotel on Wednesday night.
Other famous female faces attending included Margot Robbie, Jamie Lee Curtis, Carey Mulligan and Janelle Monae.
Brooklyn Beckham was also pictured at the event, accompanying his wife, Nicola Peltz Beckham.