$1 Billion for Gender Equality

Melinda Gates is putting her money to work for gender equality

‘Here’s what keeps me up at night: I imagine waking up one morning to find that the country has moved on. That the media has stopped reporting on systemic inequalities. That diversity remains something companies talk about instead of prioritizing. That all of this energy and attention has amounted to a temporary swell instead of a sea change.

There is too much at stake to allow that to happen. 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.’
– Melinda Gates

While on tour promoting her book, The Moment of Lift, Melinda Gates had the opportunity to speak with women and girls about their current realities and dreams for the future.

She saw schools investing in the eduction of young girls. These girls are told they can do anything they want with their futures. But she knows the challenges they’re up against when they leave those walls.

She met women in start-ups with big ideas about solving key problems around them. But she also heard stories of the lack of funding and systemic bias facing them.

‘Those conversations made me realise, we can’t keep launching girls and women into society in the way we are today and assuming they’re going to be ok. We need to do more on this topic. We’ve got to accelerate this change.

We’ve got to come together and make sure their future changes and changes now.’
– Melinda Gates

That’s exactly what she is doing through her company Pivotal Ventures. Melinda is investing $1 billion over the next ten years to advance women’s rights and gender equality.

While she will refine her approach over the decade, there are three key areas where she will start:
> Dismantling barriers to women’s professional advancement
> Fast-tracking women in high-impact sectors (technology, media, public office)
> Amplify external pressure on companies and organisations in need of reform

‘There are so many barriers for women. That’s why we need to create the right policy changes, the right workplace changes, the right media story changes, so that we can truly create equality for everyone.’
– Melinda Gates

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