Steven Spielberg said the Time's Up movement is "more important than any of us can ever really realise".
He was speaking at the Rakuten TV Empire Awards which were held in London on Sunday.
The Oscar-winning director, 71, was handed the Legend Of Our Lifetime Award.
He praised the campaign to fight sexual harassment and described it as a "watershed moment" for attitudes in the entertainment industry.
On collecting his award, the Indiana Jones director said: "It's been a rich and diverse year for film and for gender and for race, and for speaking out.
"Thank you, Time's Up. We were very much on board from the very beginning, my wife Kate and I.
"This is more important than any of us can ever really realise."
Actors Reese Witherspoon and Ashley Judd and producer Shonda Rhimes were among hundreds of prominent Hollywood women who launched the initiative in January.
It came in the wake of sexual abuse claims by high-profile actresses against film producer Harvey Weinstein. He's denied the allegations.
Spielberg, who's one of Hollywood's best known directors, said he thought the movement was a turning point for inequality in the industry.
"I think in 10 years we'll look back and realise what a watershed moment we are all experiencing together. 2017 to 2018, it's extraordinary what's happening right now."
He said he hoped the initiative would mark the "end of the ways things were".
Star Wars: The Last Jedi was the big winner at the awards, which are voted for by film fans. It won the best film prize.
Daisy Ridley was named best actress for her performance in the latest instalment in the space saga.
Star Wars legend Mark Hamill, who plays Luke Skywalker, was presented with the Empire Icon trophy.
Other winners included Hugh Jackman who won best actor for his role in Logan. His co-star Dafne Keen was voted best female newcomer.
Wonder Woman won the best sci-fi/fantasy gong while Get Out picked up the best horror prize.
Nicole Kidman won the best actress in a TV series for her performance in mini-series Big Little Lies and Jason Isaacs took home the male television actor gong for Star Trek: Discovery.