Melinda Gates Commits $1 Billion to Support Gender Equality

Together with her husband Bill Gates, Melinda Gates committed $1 billion towards the empowerment of women over the next decade. “Too many people — women and men — have worked too hard to get us this far. “And there are too many possible solutions we haven’t tried yet. That’s why, over the next 10 years, I am committing $1 billion to expand women’s power and influence in the US,” she said. 

She wants ‘fast-tracking women in sectors with “outsized impact on our society”

“For most of our history, women’s absence from positions of power and influence wasn’t newsworthy; it was normal. The fact we’re now talking about these inequities is itself a sign of progress,” said Gates. Also, for consequent years, more men are being named in the Fortune 500 list than women and although there are more women in the top tiers in business than ever before, there are a lot of obstacles that are holding women back. Using her company Pivotal Ventures as the basis for this women-centric project, she had three goals in her mind when she decided to pledge the $1 billion. She wants to see that barriers are being dismantled when it comes to the professional development of women, she wants ‘fast-tracking women in sectors with “outsized impact on our society” like media, tech, and politics,’ and she wants to ‘create pressure on consumers, employees and investors to create reform on diversity.’

“Equality can’t wait, and no one in a position to act should either”

Although the rest of the world might think that the amount of money pledged is vast, however, according to Gates, this is only a small fraction of what’s necessary to make a change. She hopes that this will be seen as a vote of confidence within the minds and hearts of diversity and inclusion experts in the US and across the world. Did you know that it is a rare thing to donate money to the cause of gender equality? One might think that because there is so much talk about gender equality, people might give their money to such a cause, however, in developed countries like the US, this is not the case. The latest report by the Women’s Philanthropy Institute at Indiana University’s Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, “News stories about sexual assault and harassment, as well as various policy developments and current events, have brought issues impacting women and girls to the fore of societal conversations. Does charitable giving also prioritize this population? This report shows that it has not.” Hence, Melinda Gates’ pledge is a gamechanger for women and girls and is something that will spur actionable change, not just mere lip service because “Equality can’t wait, and no one in a position to act should either,” she said.

Image credit: MarketWatch

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