Former wives to two of the world’s richest men Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates and Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos have contributed a sum of $40 million to help in advancing the power and influence of American women over the next 10 years.
The two women, Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Scott have become powerful philanthropists as they have vowed to give away the majority of their wealth in their lifetimes.
The donation from the women will be awarded to four winners from the 550 applicants who will propose various creative ways to empower and improve the lives of women in the United States in the “Equality Can’t Wait Challenge”.
The challenge which is a competition that centers on gender and equality in the United States grants an opportunity to invest in, empower and improve the lives of women by establishing publicly supported infrastructure for childcare and other forms of caregiving; creating training for women interested in software development careers; accelerating young women’s trajectories through college and their early careers; and growing “impactful businesses owned by Native women.”
The competition will be hosted by Melinda Gates’ investment firm Pivotal Ventures, with financial support from Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, as well as from the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.
Each of the winners will receive $10 million for their projects.
“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 said in a statement.
Meinda 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.”