Time’s Up, the gender-equality initiative founded in the wake of the #MeToo movement, has selected former Women’s National Basketball Association President Lisa Borders as the organization’s first president and CEO.
The decision was formally announced Tuesday morning by the organization, which was started earlier this year by women in the entertainment industry. But the scope of Time’s Up has extended far beyond Hollywood—including advocating for protections for farmworkers, restaurant workers and domestic workers, as well as setting up a domestic legal defense fund that connects survivors of sexual assault, harassment and misconduct in their workplace to legal and public relations assistance.
A press release from Time’s Up heralded Borders’ three decades of experience in “operations, marketing, government relations and public service,” specifically her most recent work as President of the WNBA, where she oversaw the league’s day-to-day business and basketball operations.
In her time as president, Borders rebounded the league’s in-person attendance—with 2017 marking its highest attendance numbers in six years. The WNBA also experienced double-digit growth in television viewership this year. Previously, Borders worked as vice president of Global Community Affairs at the Coca-Cola Company and chaired the Coca-Cola Foundation, and served as vice mayor of Atlanta and president of the Atlanta City Council prior to that.
“Time’s Up is both a natural extension and a bold advancement of the work I have been doing for the last four decades,” Borders said in the release. “To disrupt and reinvent the ingrained status quo, we will need all hands-on deck to create and sustain enduring change.”
Former show runner and CEO of Shondaland, Shonda Rhimes, said with Borders as president, “Time’s Up is now in the best position to achieve what we all started–to create a more positive future for workplace culture and a more powerful network for working women of all kinds.”
Time’s Up has been shaped by women of color since its inception, with Rhimes, and actresses Kerry Washington and Tessa Thompson serving as founding members and vocal advocates for women’s issues. This year, women of color within the organization penned an op-ed in The Root calling for a boycott of R. Kelly’s music in an online campaign called #MuteRKelly. The campaign drew the ire of the R&B singer, who has been accused of sexual abuse for decades.
“For too long, our community has ignored our pain. The pain we bear is a burden that too many women of color have had to bear for centuries. The wounds run deep,” read the op-ed. “We call on people everywhere to join with us to insist on a world in which women of all kinds can pursue their dreams free from sexual assault, abuse and predatory behavior.”
Most recently, members of Time’s Up urged Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who stands accused of multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, to withdraw his nomination.