Melinda Gates has pledged $1 billion to expanding women’s power and influence in the US over the next 10 years. The pledge will fund and grow female-focused programs through investment and incubation via Gates’s firm Pivotal Ventures.
In an essay published in Time Magazine gates wrote, ‘Gender equality in the U.S. has been chronically underfunded. Data from Candid’s Foundation Directory Online suggests that private donors give $9.27 to higher education and $4.85 to the arts for every $1 they give to women’s issues. What’s more, 90 cents of each dollar donors spend on women is going to reproductive health. As absolutely essential as reproductive health is, we also need to fund other unmet needs.’
The fund will focus on three priorities: dismantling the barriers to women’s professional advancement, fast-tracking women in sectors with outsized impact on our society—like technology, media, and public office, and mobilizing shareholders, consumers, and employees to amplify external pressure on companies and organizations in need of reform. ‘Pivotal Ventures, will put resources behind new and established partners taking innovative and diverse approaches to expanding women’s power and influence. We will continue to adapt our strategy in collaboration with our partners,’ Melinda Gates added.
‘I want to see more women in the position to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives. I believe that women’s potential is worth investing in—and the people and organizations working to improve women’s lives are, too.’
Read the full essay here: time.com