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Melinda French Gates is leading an effort to change this dynamic in an industry in which women's issues receive only 1.6% of charitable donations. She serves as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - one of the world's premier philanthropies - as well as founding Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation firm. 1. Invest in Women’s Leadership Melinda French Gates serves as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and sets its agenda, one of the world's largest philanthropies. Additionally, she has written two books and established Pivotal Ventures; an investment and incubation firm dedicated to speeding social progress within America. Gates has long been renowned as a global advocate and mother to three, embodying both drive and self-confidence in her career path. Raised in an energetic family who upheld hard work ethics, she applied these traits into her own career path - mowing lawns for money as a teenager before working at Microsoft where she became their youngest hire at age 22. She has made it her mission to break down any barriers that impede women from succeeding, be they structural or personal. Therefore, her philanthropic efforts focus on addressing societal issues and encouraging women to lead themselves. In 2021, she and ex-husband Bill announced a commitment to gender equality through their philanthropy, while two years later she and MacKenzie Scott collaborated to give away $40 million to organizations dedicated to women's leadership within STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) fields. Gates has also taken steps to boost women's representation in corporate leadership, which currently remains at less than five percent. She and her team are investing in various strategies designed to increase that number - mentorship programs, accelerators for early stage female founders and more - as a means of accomplishing this task. The Gates Foundation is focused on increasing financial inclusion for those living in developing nations, where many people, particularly women, lack access to formal banking systems. They invest in initiatives such as GSMA's mobile banking services which assist women opening accounts. Gates is also a vocal proponent for improving how governments and private companies measure and track data, believing this will enable them to drive change and enhance outcomes for those they serve. She's been outspoken on workplace bias issues as well as encouraging her philanthropic colleagues to support organizations like Time's Up. 2. Give Women the Opportunity to Lead Melinda French Gates quickly emerged as one of the world's foremost leaders in philanthropy after co-founding Microsoft with her husband Bill, dedicating much of her wealth and efforts towards health and women's issues. She pledged most of it away during her lifetime and created Pivotal Ventures - an investment and incubation company dedicated to driving social progress for families, women and people of color across America. As one of the world's most powerful women, she has since been recognized by being named one of its 100 Most Powerful Women and this morning made headlines by making an announcement of pledging $1 billion toward gender equity initiatives within the US. It represents her largest initiative yet for her standalone firm that she began back in 2015. In a world plagued with inequality and inequity, she remains determined to use her influence for change. She desires for COVID-19 recovery plans to focus on gender equality rather than reinforce existing inequalities, and more women to be in leadership positions. While representation has improved at all levels of corporate leadership in the U.S., women remain underrepresented at each step in the management pipeline--with women showing greater disparities at its first stages, where many aspiring leaders begin their careers. According to data released by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, women still underrepresentation at every step. Low-income women suffer particularly acute inequalities. Many don't possess the necessary skills or access to technology that would increase productivity; thus forcing them to choose between taking care of children or elders and working low-wage jobs that often feature unpredictable hours. Melinda French Gates supports organizations which seek to recruit more women into political and community leadership positions, like She Should Run and Women's Public Leadership Network, who recruit candidates from diverse ideological perspectives for political office through nontraditional channels like chambers of commerce, women's networks and American Farm Bureaus. Melinda French Gates' approach is becoming ever more relevant as inequality and inequity grow around us, and she must use her immense influence for good if she is going to lead by example and inspire us all. We should all learn from and emulate her efforts. 3. Invest in Women’s Health Melinda French Gates is a philanthropist and businesswoman who believes women's power and influence are essential in driving social progress forward. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, she sets its direction and priorities. Additionally, Gates founded Pivotal Ventures which invests exclusively in women founders. Most recently she published The Moment of Lift which details many challenges women encounter throughout society. She is committed to ensuring women's voices are heard when discussing global health and wellbeing, which she demonstrated by founding WomenLift Health to equip talented mid-career women with the necessary skills and networks needed to advance into senior leadership roles. Organization: Women Rising works with partners worldwide to assist women in realizing their full potential through tailor-made, cohort-based leadership journeys. Current programs operate in North America, India and East Africa with plans to launch in Southern Africa later in 2018. Gates has also taken an interest in investing in women's health. She has led efforts to make birth control more accessible; this issue is particularly pressing in developing countries where female education cannot be sacrificed because unwanted pregnancies obstruct it. By giving access to contraceptives for these girls and young women, Gates hopes they may pursue their studies without worrying about unwanted pregnancies limiting future options and opportunities. Gates has advocated for increased investment in research on conditions that disproportionately impact women, such as sexually transmitted infections, cervical cancer and HIV/AIDS. Unfortunately, just 2.3% of private donations went toward nonprofits focused on women's issues in 2018 - well short of the 10% recommended by philanthropic communities. Although advances have been made towards gender equality, women still face numerous barriers. For instance, in the US women remain over 20% underpaid compared to men and account for only 24% of seats in Congress. Furthermore, more male CEOs run Fortune 500 companies than female ones. 4. Invest in Women’s Education Melinda French Gates has become one of the world's most powerful women, using her influence to advocate for others. As co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and founder of Pivotal Ventures, she sets direction and priorities for one of the largest philanthropies worldwide. Additionally, she wrote the best-selling book The Moment of Lift which explores how women's empowerment improves entire societies. French Gates and her team at Pivotal have prioritized raising awareness about gender as a contributor to reducing social inequalities. A recent report from her foundation discovered that gender equality is "falling further out of reach" and suggested changes must take place globally to bridge that gap by 2030. "Investing in women is key to creating an equitable society," French Gates asserts. This means supporting organizations that provide leadership development opportunities and making sure policies and systems support women's needs; one foundation is working toward making financial services more responsive to women's requirements--research shows this has led to increased economic growth due to more women having access to credit and spending more. The foundation is also invested in the care economy, which encompasses childcare and eldercare services. Women make up most of the caregiver workforce. Girls Inc's Project Accelerate can also help advance women in the workplace. One key part of our work involves making sure those in power listen to women and their voices, with data collection on living situations being an effective method for doing this. That is why the foundation has created the Learning and Action Cohort; participants in this program will have opportunities for reflection as well as tools to practice best practices through modules delivered both online and face-to-face workshops.