Two Bay Area women on Time cover for 'Person of the Year'

Lilian Kim Image
ByLilian Kim KGO logo
Thursday, December 7, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The Bay Area is represented in a big way in Time's Person of the Year issue. A former Uber engineer and a San Francisco lobbyist are among the women on the cover, recognized for breaking the culture of silence surrounding sexual harassment.

"Well I had a hard time getting to sleep because I wasn't sure but thought this might be happening," said Adama Iwu, a San Francisco-based lobbyist for Visa.

Things certainly changed for Iwu by the time she woke up this morning. She can now be seen on newsstands and all over social media.

Along with Ashley Judd, Taylor Swift, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler and farm worker Isabel Pascual, Iwu is on the cover of Time as Person of the Year.

They and everyone else who've come forward about sexual harassment have been called "The Silence Breakers".

In Iwu's case, she wrote an open letter calling for an end to sexual harassment in the state Capitol which led to a nonprofit working to change the culture.

"It turns out that women were really angry and I think now is a good time to be angry," said Iwu.

The cover has caught the attention of leading feminists in the Bay Area.

"I deeply admire what many of them have done and I admire Time for honoring them," said Professor Joan Williams, founding director of Worklife Law at UC Hastings. With the #MeToo movement in full swing, she believes the era of demonizing women through "slut-shaming" may be over.

"The single change we're seeing now is the waning of that stereotype which means people are finally hearing women's voices and taking them seriously," said Williams.

It's a major shift Iwu hopes will lead to meaningful policy changes.

Adama Iwu is a lobbyist for Visa and she's started the campaign to expose sexual harassment in Sacramento.