Melinda Gates Is Donating $1 Billion To Expand Women’s Power And Influence

By Amit Chowdhry ● October 12, 2019
  • Melinda Gates recently announced she is investing $1 billion to invest in gender equity over the next 10 years. These are the details.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation co-founder Melinda Gates recently announced she was going to be donating $1 billion over the next 10 years to expand women’s power and influence across the United States. The investment will enable Gates’ firm Pivotal Ventures to put resources behind new and established partners who are taking innovative and diverse approaches to solve the gender gap problem.

“A window of opportunity has opened,” wrote Gates in an op-ed piece for TIME. “Or, more accurately, it was painstakingly pried open by the hundreds of thousands of people who have joined marches across the country, the millions of women who summoned the courage to tell their #MeToo stories, the record number of women who ran for office in 2018 and won— and by the women who are working multiple jobs, caring for multiple loved ones, and proving you don’t have to protest or enter politics to challenge a system stacked against you. It wasn’t just grand gestures that got us here. It was daily acts of courage, too.”

With the $1 billion commitment, Pivotal Ventures is going to focus on three priorities. The first priority is to dismantle the barriers to women’s professional advancement. The second is to fast-track women in sectors with outsized impact on our society. And the third is to mobilize shareholders, consumers, and employees to amplify external pressure on companies and organizations in need of reform.

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Some of the barriers that women face in professional advancement is that shouldering the majority of caregiving responsibilities and face sexual harassment and discrimination. And women are often surrounded by biased and stereotypical representations.

In order to fast-track women in sectors with an outsized impact on society, Pivotal Ventures plans to create new pathways into those industries by will open up more entry points for women from all sorts of backgrounds. And Pivotal will generate more data to drive mobilization when it comes to the lives of women.

According to data from Candid’s Foundation Directory Online, private donors gave $9.27 to high education and $4.85 to the arts for every $1 they give to women’s issues. And 90 cents of each dollar donors spend on women is going to reproductive health.

Over the last 20 years, Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people who have the most urgent needs where they live. And she found that society can be lifted up as long as women are not held down. These experiences will be shared in Gates’ book called “The Moment of Lift” which is being released on April 23, 2019.