Melinda Gates: Investing In Women Is Good Business

By Amit Chowdhry ● December 21, 2019
  • Melinda Gates recently said that investing in women is good business. And in 2020, she is expecting women to alter the workforce dramatically.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Co-chair Melinda Gates recently said that “investing in women is good business.” And in 2020, she is expecting women to alter the workforce dramatically.

“Throughout our history, the face of power and influence in the United States has been overwhelmingly white and male. Over the next decade, that will change,” said Gates in an interview with Fortune. “Women—and, more important, women of all backgrounds—will increasingly be the ones making decisions, controlling resources, and shaping perspectives in all spheres of society. We’ll see this shift play out in homes, in workplaces, and across public life. It will lead to new narratives, products, and policies that reflect a much broader range of perspectives. And it will enable more women to fully participate in solving the challenges that will require our collective brainpower, like structural racism and rising inequality.”

However, Gates said that this shift will not happen by accident and it will require the concerted efforts of a broad coalition of Americans working with each other. And she is calling on new partners to turn up the pressure on the institutions that are “enshrining the status quo.”

Some of the biggest setbacks for this cause are the norms around caregiving which involve women being expected to do more work around the home and often having to deal with harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Interactions like dividing the household chores with partners and pushing back against bosses who harass — while multiplied every day — will change everything.

Gates was recently ranked on LinkedIn’s Top Voices 2019: U.S. Influencers. When LinkedIn Editor in Chief Daniel Roth asked Gates about a trend she’s watching in 2020, Gates responded:
“Paid family and medical leave. The United States is the only developed country in the world that doesn’t guarantee working people the time they need to care for new babies, sick relatives or their own health…We’re finally beginning to see momentum behind this policy as more and more people speak out and individual states begin to take action on their own.”

Gates also runs a venture firm called Pivotal Ventures, which focuses on investing in women entrepreneurs who are developing B2B SaaS and deep tech solutions. Back in October, Pivotal announced a partnership with Microsoft’s M12 and Mayfield featuring a “Female Founders Competition.”