The irony of the 'toxic' Time's Up workplace

Time's Up ribbon.
(Image credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

Despite its female-led, survivor-centric impetus, Time's Up, the nonprofit advocacy group that launched in 2018 as an "idealistic" reckoning against the entertainment industry's longstanding paradigms, has been criticized by former employees as a "classic toxic work environment," with a "peculiarly rudderless" mission, Slate reports.

As one former staffer detailed, "This is an organization whose No. 1 campaign was pay equity at the moment, and this was the only job where I experienced a pay gap." Workers also claimed there was a "lack of clarity around goals," which made it feel "impossible" to do good work.

"I didn't know how we were showing up for survivors or how we were even changing anything," said one staffer (in one success, the organization's legal defense fund is said to be doing great work).

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Other issues stemmed from the organization's "top-heavy culture," chaotic policy prioritization, and demanding work-life balance. "It got to the point where, if I took an hourlong yoga class over the weekend, I felt like I had to let people know that I wasn't going to be able to answer my text messages," said another staffer.

Employees were also reportedly told to "watch their tone, say thank you, ask fewer questions," writes Slate. "It just seemed like the Twilight Zone," said one person. "This is the stuff in a male-dominated workplace that women go through all the time, why we can't get ahead."

Said another former worker, of the "powerful women at the top": "I think they overcame a lot in their careers and 'beat the patriarchy' — but learned all the tricks of the trade." Another added that the organization was "functioning exactly as it was designed to function, which is to protect powerful people, not to protect the survivors they abuse or harass." Read more at Slate.

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