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Nikki Deloach On Women In Entertainment: 'If You Don't Know Your Value, No One Else Will'

At the recent iWe Summit, the 'Awkward' actress spoke about closing the gender gap.

In Palos Hills, Lacey Hamilton is happy to play housewife so long as there's a roof above her head, but actress Nikki Deloach, who plays the "Awkward" character, is still angling to break through the glass ceiling.

Deloach, who has a background in music and TV, spoke out on closing the Hollywood gender gap at the recent iWe Summit in Los Angeles. And in an interview with WhoSay, she urged female entertainers to keep fighting for roles and positions that they deserve.

"As an actress, writer or producer, it is a struggle sometimes -- in a very male-dominated industry -- to be heard or to get others to see your value," she said, noting that only seven percent of Tinseltown directors are women. "It has really taught me to own my worth. If you don't know your value, no one else will. As hard as it is, you can't get bitter or defeated -- you just have to keep doing you."

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Deloach told the site she was heartened by how many more women are directing "Awkward" episodes now than in seasons past but said there is still a considerable journey ahead for ladies in the industry. She also urged girls who dream of being the next Meryl Streep to maintain absolute sureness in themselves.

"Be you, because there is no one else out there like you," she advised. "If you love what you do, don't give up. Work hard. Never stop learning. Be humble. Follow your heart and your gut. Believe in yourself fiercely. Love yourself with even more ferocity."

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And Deloach is certainly following her own advice, as she explained she plans to start creating her own projects that give actresses more chances to be complex characters that "reflect real women in society." Let us be the first to say we can't wait to see what she's got!

+ Check out the full interview, and watch Deloach on "Awkward" every Tuesday night at 10/9c!