By Monica Haider
17 December 2020
Two remarkably powerful women, Tina Tchen, President and CEO of TIME’S UP Now and TIME’S UP Foundation, and Misty Copeland, Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theater, have shattered glass ceilings and helped amplify the discourse on racial and gender equality. On a panel for the 2020 Forbes Power Women’s Summit moderated by ForbesWomen Editor Maggie McGrath, the changemakers shared their thoughts on dismantling barriers, and underscored the importance of empowering one another and building a new normal in a world that has much progress to make.
Copeland, who was the first African-American woman to become Principal Dancer in the American Ballet Theatre, didn’t let the pandemic hinder her work. In fact, she leveraged her experience and position to help the dance community in a time of need. She cofounded Swans for Relief, a fundraiser to support dancers who have been financially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. Together with 31 other female ballet dancers from 14 countries, Copeland performed “The Dying Swan,” which was released on YouTube in May 2020 and generated money for the Covid-19 relief funds of various dance companies.
Tina Tchen’s monumental work advocating for gender equity and workplace diversity, namely through TIME’S UP—which she cofounded in response to the Harvey Weinstein scandal—has remained strong in 2020. They documented stories of women working on the front lines of the pandemic, created a guide to equity and inclusion to advise companies on how to maintain anti-racist practices during a crisis, commissioned a survey showing Covid-19’s impact on the pay gap and launched a five-year initiative with Melinda Gates’ Pivotal Ventures to examine the impact of gender and racial inequalities exacerbated by the pandemic. TIME’S UP also started the “We Have Her Back” campaign this year, calling on the media to refrain from unfair coverage of women. Eliminating racist and sexist attacks is a focal point of the mission, which was widely highlighted when Biden announced that Kamala Harris would be his running mate.
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