Tina Tchen, Michelle Obama's former chief of staff, announced as new head of Time's Up

Tina Tchen announced as head of Time's Up
Tina Tchen announced as head of Time's Up 04:29

Tina Tchen, the former chief of staff to first lady Michelle Obama, has been announced as the new head of Time's Up. Tchen is a co-founder of the Time's Up legal defense fund and a lawyer herself. 

"I've been a single working mom my entire career, working in places like law firms and the White House," she told "CBS This Morning" Monday in her first interview as the organization's leader. "So I've seen the issues that women confront in workplaces. And I've been working on gender equity issues for over three decades."

Earlier this year, Lisa Borders stepped down as Time's Up president and CEO in the wake of her son being accused of sexual assault. 

The Time's Up movement came to life nearly two years ago when more than 300 powerful women in Hollywood took a stand against sexual harassment in the workplace. Its mission is to ensure equity and safety in the workplace across all industries. CBS Corporation donated $20 million to advocacy groups working to end sexual harassment in the workplace last year including Time's Up.

Tchen also revealed that Melinda Gates is funding an "impact lab" that would conduct research on how to better tackle inequality in the workplace and sexual harassment in the workplace. 

"Companies [are] coming forward with a willingness, that has never happened before to actually think about these issues. They see the risk to their companies if they don't address these issues. They also see the benefits. And so I've seen an openness by companies, but here's the thing – they actually don't know what to do. And that's why one of the things we're excited about in conjunction with my announcement is to announce Melinda Gates has given us a generous donation to start an impact lab to do research," she said. "We need to build research and data. We don't know what works.

Tchen also had a message for men.

"95% of Fortune 500 CEO are men. If men aren't part of the solution, we're not going to fix this. Men need to own this as an issue. If you're a CEO, this needs to be your issue, not just your HR department, your board of directors needs to own the issue. What's the issue -- it's about building workplaces that are safe, respectful, and equitable to everyone. And making sure that women have more power and influence."