Get to Know Lisa Borders, Former President and CEO, TIME'S UP | The 2019 MAKERS Conference
Lisa Borders has carved an unconventional career path for herself, from health administration and public service to becoming the VP of community affairs for the Coca-Cola Company and then president of the WNBA. Then, she joined TIME'S UP as its inaugural president and CEO. She has since resigned for personal reasons.
LISA BORDERS: Time's Up is, in effect, a response to MeToo. We insist on a world where there is safe, fair, and dignified work for women. We are here so that no woman ever again has to say MeToo. [MUSIC PLAYING] I grew up in Atlanta. It's the cradle of the civil rights movement. My grandparents were deeply engaged in leading marches and protests and organizing in communities. When Dr. King was assassinated, I can remember holding my grandfather's hand the day that his casket was being pulled down Auburn Avenue. So I had a really deep exposure to civic engagement. I'm getting called racial slurs on a daily basis they didn't know me at all. But on the basis of my skin color and, frankly, being what they perceived as different from them, then I must be somehow less. And so I very quickly understood that my responsibility was not only to get my degree. But it was to demonstrate that I had not only the capacity but the capability to achieve the way that they did, which meant I was exactly like them, two eyes, two ears, one nose, but a very smart brain. My grandparents worked at the Coca-Cola company. My grandfather on my mother's side worked as a chauffeur for one of the first presidents of Coca-Cola from 1929 to 1959. My grandmother worked for 15 years as a maid. So for me to get to work at the Coca-Cola company as a senior officer meant that we had moved as a family from the chauffeur seat to the executive suite in two generations. The business was not doing well and had lost its footing. My passion not just for sports and basketball in particular but for supporting women in their professional goals was really what I was interested in doing. In three seasons at the WNBA, we were able to turn that business around. Every key performance indicator had been turned northward. 3/4 of them were all double digit increases. It was really sort of frightening initially that this was not just in entertainment, that women from different socioeconomic groups across industries, across sectors, were raising their hand and that this was a relevant and resonant experience that we were seeing globally. I can remember thinking we should do something about this. We were born out of tragedy and trauma. But this was women supporting women right from the very beginning. The sisterhood is global today. There are women pledging to work together to ensure that we redesign the world where women have safe, fair, and dignified work. So I have always been one to tackle my problems head on. Don't wait and try and figure them out tomorrow. We're going to figure this out today. And what women are saying is we will not tolerate abuse of any description. Period. Full stop.