The TIME'S UP Guide to Equity and Inclusion During Crisis

TIME’S UP Releases Guide to Help Leaders Rebuild During and Post-COVID

Equity, Private Sector, Safety

May 27, 2020 (Washington, DC) – As businesses and states continue to modify their operations in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, TIME’S UP Foundation saw an urgent need to help leaders respond to this moment without losing any ground. The TIME’S UP Guide to Equity and Inclusion During Crisis – released today – meets that need by offering urgent and practical guidance for employers in all sectors for caring for your people, equalizing your workplace, and leading with purpose.

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.

“Now, in this moment of crisis, we as employers have a responsibility to rebuild our economy and society to be more inclusive and equitable — not just for women, but for all of us,” said Tina Tchen, president and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation. “Leaders must recognize that COVID-19 impacts each of their employees differently — and keep diversity and inclusion integral to their economic recovery strategy. The companies that get the commitment to their people right— starting with their most vulnerable people — are going to be the ones that survive in the long run, emerging stronger from this moment than ever before.”

Women are bearing the brunt of the economic impact of COVID-19, especially low-paid women and women of color: of the 20.5 million people who lost their jobs in April, more than half were women and women of color are overrepresented in industries that have been hardest hit — even as one in three jobs held by women has been deemed essential. And caregiving responsibilities – which have always fallen on women – are increasing as schools and child care centers close their doors.

Prior to the pandemic, business leaders were starting to realize how inclusive and equitable workplace policies and values impacted their bottom line by improving talent acquisition, retention, morale, and productivity – among other indicators. The practical guidance TIME’S UP released today will help businesses stay invested in building a diverse and inclusive work environment, which will ensure they retain the best talent, avoid the high cost of turnover, and exhibit the values that clients, customers, and consumers want to see from business in these difficult times.

“What’s truly unique about this guide is that it is informed by a cross-section of diversity and inclusion professionals who came together – virtually – to connect, be heard, and develop resources that directly address the issues they have been seeing in the field – all in real-time,” said Christena Pyle, vice president and head of TIME’S UP’s efforts to transform the advertising industry. “At this critical time for our workforce and our country, we are excited to share this resource and build upon it in the weeks and months to come.”The guide offers a mix of immediate fixes for meeting the needs of this moment and longer-term structural changes to help leaders live out their values, while making their businesses more competitive and resilient in the long run.

Some of the top takeaways from the guide include:

  • Pay attention to the impact of layoff and furlough decisions on women and people of color.
  • Make sure that social distancing guidelines do not unintentionally roll back work culture or exclude women, people of color, LGBTQIA+, people with disabilities, older workers, and other vulnerable employees from career advancement.
  • Acknowledge the added responsibilities that caregivers have at home and co-create custom solutions to support their success.
  • Recognize that COVID-19 impacts each employee differently — and do not overlook how painful these acute experiences are for your people, especially those whose personal lives have been shaped most significantly by the pandemic.
  • Living up to company values now will have future implications on hiring the best talent, attracting discerning customers, and building each business’s resilience over the long haul.

Download The TIME’S UP Guide to Equity and Inclusion During Crisis here, or by texting LEADERS to 306-44.


TIME’S UP Foundation

The TIME’S UP™ Foundation insists upon safe, fair, and dignified work for all by changing culture, companies, and laws. We enable more people to seek justice through the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund™. We pioneer innovative research driving toward solutions to address systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace through the TIME’S UP Impact Lab. And we reshape key industries from within so they serve as a model for all industries. The TIME’S UP Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.