Article creator image

BY Fairygodboss

Pharrell Tells NYU Grads the Key to a Bright Future is This

Pharrell Williams

Photo credit: Karl Hab / Flickr

TAGS:Education, Inspiration, Equality, Gender equality, Career advice, Celebrity

There’s nothing like a good commencement speech to get you inspired about your future. Even if you haven’t been in school for years...or decades...graduation quotes can boost your career motivation, especially when the words of wisdom are coming from some of your favorite celebs.

In a particularly humble and uplifting speech delivered at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, Pharrell Williams — who was receiving an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from NYU — spoke to graduates about the importance of activism and effecting change. He began by telling the audience that his mother is a “lifelong educator” and that he’s “forever a student,” before noting that being anonymous is a thing of the past: “How can we inspire if we are behind the scenes?” he asked.

In his nearly 10-minute address, Pharrell urged the crowd to continue fighting for gender equality. “This generation is first to understand that we need to lift up our women,” he said, driving home the point that empowering women should be a priority for all. “Imagine the possibilities when we remove imbalance; imagine the possibilities when women are not held back. Your generation is unraveling deeply entrenched laws, principles, and misguided values that have held women back for far too long, and, therefore, have held us all back,” he declared, to much applause.

He added that the graduates represent the first generation that’s navigating the world “with the security and confidence to treat women as equal.”

Fairygodboss

Fairygodboss is committed to improving the workplace and lives of women. 
Join us by reviewing your employer!

You May Also Like

Related Community Discussions

  • I'm a recruiter for the largest staffing and recruiting firm in the country. I'm seeing a lot of people on this thread who are extremely stressed out about finding work, and I think you guys need to start seriously considering working with recruiters to find jobs. NOT ALL RECRUITERS ARE EQUAL! I work for Aerotek, where we value your goals, skills, and interests and we find you a "perfect fit": the job that actually utilizes your experience and abilities. Please don't hesitate to reach out to me if you are looking for work in the Portland, OR metro area. I can be reached via this thread, and, if you're seriously interested, please let me know and I will share my email.

  • I'm at a relatively senior level in my career, and I'm getting married. I'd like to change my name...but I'm concerned about how it could affect my "brand." First of all, people inside my company and out already know me by my maiden name...But also, will it affect my career prospects and make it seem like I am too focused on marriage?

  • Hi. I have been an Executive Assistant, or some other assistant/operations person for over 30 years. After losing my job of many years due to restructuring, I am looking for a permanent position. I feel as though assistant positions are on the way out, given anecdotal evidence by other assistants as well as executives I've spoken to. Please note that I am in pursuit of my bachelor's, but it is not yet completed. Apparently 30 years of experience doesn't mean anything if I don't have a degree. I've been told that it is recognized that I am intelligent and eager to learn pretty much anything (as well as easy to work with) so do not pigeon-hole myself into going after assistant roles, but I don't know what else I should look into or other keywords to use when searching for positions. Does anyone have any guidance on what kinds of jobs are out there?

  • I am seeking a part time Interior Design position but almost impossible to find unless it is full time. I am even willing to become a receptionist at a furniture store just to get my foot in the door.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

  • Any advice regarding age bias? There is a lot of information about diversity and inclusion but not about age discrimination. I'm actually looking for new opportunity and I have the theory that the reason I have been rejected is age. PS I have doctorate degree and over 20 years of experience.

Find Out

What are women saying about your company?

Click Here

Share This

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Share with Friends
  • Share Anonymously