Melinda Gates Pledges $1 Billion To Promote Gender Equality

Melinda Gates has committed to spending $1 billion over the next 10 years to promote gender equality in the U.S. 

Gates, the wife of businessman Bill Gates, announced her commitment to “expanding women’s power and influence in the United States” in an essay for Time magazine published Wednesday morning. The philanthropist believes the commitment is “only a small fraction” of what’s needed to right gender inequality in the country, she wrote.

“I want to see more women in the position to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives,” she wrote. “I believe that women’s potential is worth investing in ― and the people and organizations working to improve women’s lives are, too.”

Using her company Pivotal Ventures, Gates will funnel resources into companies that are actively trying to uplift women in business, politics and more. Her three-pronged approach includes dismantling the barriers to women’s professional advancement such as caregiving responsibilities and sexual harassment at work. Additionally, Gates plans to help fast-track the careers of women working in technology, media and public office, because, she writes, these industries were designed for and created by men. Lastly, Gates will fund research and data on gender inequality in several sectors.

“I hope the financial commitment I’m making today is seen as both a vote of confidence in the experts and advocates who are already working on these issues ― and an invitation for others to join the cause and make commitments of their own,” Gates wrote. “Equality can’t wait, and no one in a position to act should either.”

Head over to Time magazine to read Gates’ full essay.