The value of a “plus one” is worth more than one might initially think.
The Time’s Up Plus One initiative aims to increase women’s power in the workplace by intentionally bringing more women to events and providing them with more opportunities to network.
“The initiative was inspired by a desire to get more women into ‘the room where it happens,’” said founder Desiree Gruber. “We all know that for young people, you can’t be what you can’t see. Same goes for executives with hiring power—you can’t recommend who you’ve never met. So, we want to get more women out of the office and into the living, breathing business matrix.”
Gruber, founder and C.E.O. of the public relations and producing agency Full Picture, said the initiative is based on the idea of bringing one more woman to a professional event and introducing her to three other women she should know. The big picture is to invite more women to take part under the professional fold on a regular basis.
“It’s making an everyday practice of bringing women into the opportunities you’re earning and giving them the exposure they need to build their skills and network,” Gruber said. “See a woman who needs a boost that you can provide? Offer it. Have questions of your own? Ask a woman for her best advice.”
Time’s Up, founded in January, most notably tackles sexual assault and harassment in the workplace. But it also works to address the general lack of power, representation, and opportunities women face.
Gruber introduced the initiative at Tribeca Talks at the Tribeca Film Festival in April. In order to continue spreading the message, Time’s Up has hosted Plus One-specific events with its partners. Gruber has also heard from female executives at companies from a variety of industries who are putting the program into regular practice.
“In terms of playing out in reality, the beauty of the initiative and the reason why we think it’s picking up so much stream is that it’s extremely low lift while being high impact,” Gruber said. “One easy introduction can be a game changer.”
Time’s Up has been measuring the effectiveness of the initiative through real-time feedback, both from senior executives who are putting intention behind how they help other women network, and from the community of “plus ones” who are gaining experiential knowledge by joining meetings and events in real time.
“The effects are satisfying and immediate and can directly result in more women picking up confidence and a confidant,” Gruber said.