Reflecting on the year that was
2020 Year In Review
California, Caregiving, Changing Companies, Changing Culture, Changing Laws & Policy, Corporate Policy, Equity, Federal Policy, New York, Power, Safety, State Policy, TIME'S UP 2020, TIME'S UP Advertising, TIME'S UP Entertainment, TIME'S UP Healthcare, TIME'S UP Impact Lab, TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, We Have Her Back
Every year has its defining moments, but 2020 has had more paradigm-shifting events than we could possibly list here: a global pandemic, a catastrophic economic downturn, an historic movement for racial justice, record-breaking mass mobilizations, record unemployment, blazing wildfires, and the loss of legends and heroes — to name a few.
Even so, the unyielding strength and courage of women of all kinds shone through: ‘silence breakers’ and survivors, confronting unrepentant abusers and their enablers head-on. Frontline workers, risking their own health and that of their loved ones, to care for the sick, feed our communities, deliver our mail, and meet other essential needs. Caregivers, whose work — underpaid and often unpaid — has only multiplied since the pandemic. Organizers, who took to the streets, courts, city halls, and state houses to demand policy and action in defense of Black lives. And women in politics who broke barriers and shattered glass ceilings — not the least of whom is our country’s very first Madame Vice President-elect, Kamala Harris.
Through it all, TIME’S UP and our supporters have been there — supporting survivors in their search for justice; making inequality at work unacceptable, and seizing this moment for gender equity.
Supporting Survivors in their Search for Justice
It’s a pretty basic idea: everyone should be safe at work, without fearing that they’ll be harassed, assaulted or discriminated against. Yet every day, survivors come forward with stories of harassment, assault, or retaliation they have endured at work, simply by trying to do their jobs.
The outpouring of support I received from strangers who saw my story was breathtaking. Hearing that my voice can help give strength to others is amazing and that wouldn’t be possible without [TIME'S UP] working to help me.
Sex harassment survivor
Since its launch in January 2018, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund has heard from thousands of people facing workplace sex harassment and retaliation in every state, industry, and type of job. Housed at the National Women’s Law Center Fund, the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund was our very first initiative. It provides connections to attorneys and helps to pay for legal fees and media assistance in select cases of workplace sexual harassment. The Fund prioritizes assisting in cases involving workers in low-paying jobs who have always, and still do, bear the brunt of workplace sexual harassment and assault, and cases that have the potential to set significant legal or cultural precedent.
Tunisha Singleton, Sarah Tremblay, Alexia Norton Jones, Washington Football Team workers, whistleblowers in the military, survivors of Harvey Weinstein’s abuse, and fast food workers are just some of the hundreds of workers the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund has provided with legal and storytelling support.
Because of their courage and strength, one thing is clear: we’re never going back to the days where sexual harassment will remain hidden in the shadows.
TIME’S UP also rallies our supporters behind survivors of workplace harassment when they step forward. We produce resources and programs to help workers know their rights and to diversify and demystify key industries that serve as a model for others. We use our bully pulpit to call on companies and government leaders to enact policies and practices that support survivors and whistleblowers who come forward. Our experts and advocates in law and health care debunk the myths and misinformation about sexaul trauma that have historically prevented survivors, especially Black survivors, from access to justice.
The sea change catalyzed by these survivors has been nothing short of extraordinary. In February, Harvey Weinstein, whose predatory behavior helped ignite the global #MeToo movement, was convicted of sexual assault — a legal triumph not just for the women who testified and spoke out against him, but for survivors everywhere. The thousands of survivors stepping forward are also helping change the culture that allowed behavior like Weinstein’s to go on unchecked. For example, an independent CBS News poll found that more than half (52 percent) of young men 18-29 say we have helped them rethink how men behave toward women and 29 percent of working women say they’re more likely to report sexual harassment in the workplace than they were before #MeToo went viral and TIME’S UP was formed.
Making Inequality in the Workplace Unacceptable
At the same time, we work tirelessly to disrupt the power imbalances in our culture, at companies, and throughout our laws that breed sex harassment and other forms of discrimination in the first place.
And if our nation’s epidemic of sexual harassment in the workplace wasn’t enough, the global COVID-19 pandemic, economic crisis, and ongoing uprisings for racial justice have highlighted and amplified these underlying issues.
My hope is, not just that [#MeToo] is here to stay, but that it is as effective for the woman who works as a maid in a hotel as it is for Hollywood stars.
—Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
The unprecedented health and economic crises we’re facing are bringing to light the many ways that our society has failed women — especially women of color and low-paid women — for generations. We see it in the struggles of women workers on the frontlines, who put their health at risk to feed their families, and the hundreds of thousands of women who have dropped out of the labor force to provide care to their children, elderly relatives, and loved ones with disabilities.
At all these pivotal moments and more, TIME’S UP showed up. We collected and shared stories from women on the front lines of the pandemic to ensure their voices and experiences were heard. We mobilized the TIME’S UP community to deliver heartfelt thank you messages to health care workers in our network and throughout the country. We called on our supporters to rally behind the fight for racial justice re-ignited by the killing of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and so many other Black lives by the police.
We created new tools to help employers take concrete steps to advance gender and racial equity in their workplaces. By tapping into a cross-section of diversity and inclusion experts, researchers, and leaders from over 20 companies with over 700,000 people working across a variety of high-impact industries, TIME’S UP was able to gather key data, insights, and recommendations for prioritizing diversity and inclusion into the urgent decisions companies, large and small, are facing now.
We partnered with LUNA Bar on a national survey showing the impact of COVID-19 on the pay gap and women’s financial security. Among the key findings: eight in 10 survey respondents say that pay equity for women is just as or more important right now as the COVID-19 crisis unfolds.
We are helping drive diversity among the gatekeepers of culture through our CRITICAL database of more than 700 diverse entertainment critics and journalists and by continuing to push for more women in the director’s chair. And we came together as survivors and advocates to develop unprecedented resources to promote safety in the entertainment industry.
And because we sadly know this is just the beginning of the story, we’ve launched a five year initiative, Time’s Up, Measure Up, to study the impact of gender and racial inequities that have only grown with the COVID-19 crisis. Funded with the early and critical support of Pivotal Ventures, the initiative fills critical knowledge gaps, drawing on quantitative data, qualitative research, and individual stories to help us understand — and thus, solve — these problems. This will provide the critical information necessary so our society rebuilds from these crises in ways that truly measure up to what women need and deserve to thrive.
Seizing Momentum for Gender Equity
Amid a pandemic that has exacerbated gender and racial inequities — and the persistence of sexual harassment and other forms of discrimination in the workplace and in our society at large — TIME’S UP Now has fought for policies to support survivors’ rights, advance gender equity, and create a more just economic recovery.
The #MeToo and TIME’S UP movements have continued to catalyze the advancement of public policies to protect workers from sexual harassment and other forms of gender discrimination. TIME’S UP also works to provide greater economic opportunity to women workers up and down the wage scale, taking on issues like the gender and racial pay gap and caregiving. Amidst an unprecedented caregiving crisis that is jeopardizing decades of women’s gains in the workforce, TIME’S UP Now was part of the coalition that pushed Congress to pass emergency paid sick days and paid leave in response to COVID-19. We continue to press for policies that will permanently expand paid leave for all workers and will ensure caregiving in all its forms — paid family and medical leave, child care, and long term care — is available and affordable, and that caregivers are treated and paid fairly.
Where the federal government has fallen short, many states have led the way. More than 19 states have enacted new protections against workplace harassment and 16 states have enacted new pay equity laws in the last three years. An additional 10 states since our founding have passed bills or orders expanding rights and accommodations for pregnant workers — a critical intervention to help close the gender pay gap. And in response to the caregiving crisis, many states are responding to the needs of parents and families with creative strategies and proposals to help care providers and the families who need child care.
And in an historic election cycle, with an unprecedented number of women and women of color who ran for (and won!) election to office, TIME’S UP and a coalition of allies launched the We Have Her Back campaign to call out sexist and racist news coverage about women candidates across parties and across the country. And we partnered with FORTUNE Magazine to give women’s policy priorities like pay equity, sexual harassment, and child care, the coverage they deserve.
We end this year at a transformational moment, where the inequities that underrepresented communities have faced for generations have been exposed for everyone to see. Now is the time to have fair wages for caregivers and build the infrastructure so everyone can access safe and affordable care for their loved ones. Now is the time to eliminate the persistent gender wage gap that keeps women, especially women of color, in poverty. And now is the time to build a world where sexual harassment does not occur, which means building workplaces that are safe, fair, and dignified for everyone.
With your continued partnership, TIME’S UP will help get us there.