On the heels of #MeToo, the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund was launched. We look at how the #TimesUp movement has helped survivors of sexual harassment at work.
One year ago, “time’s up” was called on workplace harassment. Since then, thousands of people have found help — and hope.
On Jan. 1, 2018, powerful women in Hollywood and the law profession banded together to form Time’s Up, an organization that rode a tidal-wave movement against harassers who made working environments hell, and stunted victims’ careers by doing so.
One year on, the star-studded movement has made quite an impact — more than 3,800 people, women and men alike, have reached out to the organization for assistance, according to the Time’s Up website. They hailed from all 50 states, and worked in industries ranging from construction to food services. And those individuals ended up having quite a resource to tap into — a report released by the organization late last year states that it raised over $22 million from more than 21,000 donors. Plus, over 780 attorneys made themselves available to those seeking help. Apart from the fund, Time’s Up has set up a how-to guide on spotting harassment, digital packets on workers’ rights and a resource for finding survivor support networks.
The uprising against harassment began October 2017, sparked by a report on dozens of sexual harassment and assault allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. Months later, Time’s Up was launched. Its mission: to give victims of sexual harassment the money and legal counsel needed to formally confront their abusers.
The organization started out with four initiatives, chief among them offering a $13 million legal defense fund from the National Women’s Law Center to help lower-income victims find recourse against their harassers. Time’s Up also began pushing elected officials to enact legislation that punished companies who failed to fix their workplaces, encouraging gender parity in studios and talent agencies, and calling for attendees of the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards to wear black in solidarity, and use red-carpet interviews to discuss the organization’s aims.
Throughout 2018, actresses like Amber Tamblyn and Eva Longoria — among many others — as well as producer Shonda Rhimes and legal minds like Roberta Kaplan, Tina Tchen and Hilary Rosen lifted up the organization’s purpose and work. High-powered women entrepreneurs like Lisa Borders, formerly of The Coca-Cola Company and the WNBA, took on leading roles in pushing its work forward. Time’s Up made its way onto several more red carpets and into entertainment festivals and conferences. The #TimesUp hashtag took social media platforms by storm.
To mark the 1-year anniversary, several high-profile women offered their reflections on what Time’s Up has achieved — and many discussed finding strength in banding together. “I experienced shared power in a way that I didn’t know was possible,” actress Tracee Ellis Ross says. Adds Emma Watson, “Personally, I feel Time’s Up has helped cultivate a sense of community between women in my industry. People assume female actors all know each other and hang out, but we’re often quite isolated in an industry that can feel like an atomizing force rather than a bonding one.”
As its leaders ready themselves for a second year, Time’s Up plans to expand with a new effort: Time’s Up X2. The new initiative aims to double the number of women occupying leadership roles and working in male-dominated professional spaces. The goal is to not only make changes for and around workers, but to change the very faces of the supervisors and decision-makers above them, organizers said.
And we’re looking forward to seeing just how far this movement can go.
Posted: January 4, 2019