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Most of us know what changes need to be made on an organizational, societal, and global level for women to be on a level playing field, but few of us have an outlet to express those ideas.

That’s changing with a new campaign from MARS in which women are being asked to share their thoughts on “what needs to change so women can reach their full potential?” The responses to the #HereToBeHeard campaign are being compiled as part of a global study and Tamera Mowry-Housely is one of the celebrity voices who’s signed on to help spread the word.

“I love everything that MARS is doing with their hashtag #HereToBeHeard campaign,” Mowry-Housely tells ESSENCE. “You know that I am all about fighting for what’s right, and for seven years, on a talk show, I talked about the power of talking about your experiences, just women empowerment in general, and there’s something so beautiful being able to be surrounded by so many strong, amazing women from different walks of life.”

The 42-year-old’s experience on The Real isn’t the only thing that personally connects her to this initiative. Like many women around the world — and in Hollywood specifically, Mowry-Housely has experienced pay discrimination, which is just one of many barriers that hold women back personally and professionally. Thankfully for Mowry-Housely and her twin sister Tia Mowry-Hardrict, their mother advocated for fair compensation when they were growing up as child actors.

“We were 18 or 19 and she had done her research and she realized there were certain people in the entertainment business that were making more money and she knew that, my sister and I, we were putting in the time, putting in the work, but not only that, we had success.”

Noting the discrepancy prompted her mom to ask why her daughters weren’t seeing the same fruits of their labor as other actors and actresses, Mowry-Housely adds, “She believed in us. And by her believing in us, we saw that strength and we believed in ourselves. And my sister and I became, at one point, one of the highest-paid actresses on a pre-teen family show and it started with my mom and us knowing our worth and, again, vocalizing what we believe is right.”

In a similar vein, MARS is now affording all women the opportunity to speak up about what they know is right, an effort for which Mowry-Housely is grateful.

“Thank God we have this campaign and MARS is behind encouraging women to vocalize what they think needs to be changed so we that we can reach our full potential.”

Check out our full interview with Tamera Mowry-Housely as she also talks about making sure her voice was heard on The Real in the video above.


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