Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott team up to give $40 million to support women

The donation is being awarded to winners of the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge, a contest hosted by French Gates’ funding agency Pivotal Ventures, with monetary support from Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, in addition to from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies. The problem billed itself as “the first competition centered on gender and equality in the U.S. with an award of this magnitude and … an opportunity to invest in and empower women leaders.”
The 4 contest winners — which had been chosen from amongst 550 candidates — proposed numerous artistic methods to empower and enhance the lives of women and gender non-conforming folks within the United States. They embody establishing publicly supported infrastructure for childcare and other forms of caregiving; creating coaching for women eager about software program improvement careers; accelerating younger women’s trajectories by means of school and their early careers; and rising “impactful businesses owned by Native womxn.”
Many of those points have turn into notably necessary given the Covid-19 pandemic’s outsized impact on women, which experts have said set gender equality again by years. Each successful group will obtain $10 million for his or her tasks.

“The awardees are strong teams working on the front lines and from within communities to help women build power in their lives and careers,” Scott stated in a press release.

French Gates added: “We can break the patterns of history and advance gender equality, but we must commit to lifting up organizations, like the ones receiving awards today, that are ready to lift up women and girls.”

French Gates and Scott, who had been previously married to Seattle-based tech founders Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, respectively, have turn into highly effective philanthropists in their very own rights. Both women, who’re among the many richest folks on the planet, have signed The Giving Pledge, promising to give away nearly all of their wealth of their lifetimes.
French Gates remains co-chair of The Gates Foundation, which has funneled important funding to Covid-19 analysis and vaccination efforts over the previous yr and a half, amongst different initiatives. With Pivotal Ventures, French Gates supports women working in key sectors, reminiscent of know-how, women working for workplace and different efforts. In May, she filled for divorce from Bill Gates, whose present web price stands at about $151 billion, in accordance to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Scott said last month that she has already donated practically $1.7 billion of her fortune to 116 organizations targeted on one in all 9 “areas of need,” together with racial fairness, LGBTQ+ fairness, practical democracy and local weather change. Among the organizations she backed are the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, the Obama Foundation, the George W. Bush Presidential Center, RAINN and the European Climate Foundation.
Scott’s web price is estimated to be round $64 billion, in accordance to Bloomberg. She received a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon shares within the couple’s divorce settlement final yr, giving her a 4% stake that was price greater than $35 billion on the time.

Correction: A earlier model of this text misspelled MacKenzie Scott’s title.

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