Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Scott team up to give $40 million
Former spouses of Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott have teamed up to donate $40 million to assist advance the power and influence of American women over the next decade.
Melinda and Scott Gates, who were formerly married to Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, have become wealthy philanthropists in their own way. Both ladies, who are among the world’s wealthiest individuals, have taken The Giving Pledge, pledging to give away the bulk of their fortunes over their lives.
The women’s generous gift will be given to four winners of the “Equality Can’t Wait Challenge,” a competition organized by Melinda Gates’ investment business Pivotal Ventures and funded by Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett, as well as the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.
The challenge bills itself as “the first competition concentrating on gender and equality in the United States with a prize of this magnitude and… an opportunity to invest in and nurture women leaders.”
The four contest winners, chosen from a pool of 550 applications, offered a variety of innovative methods to empower and enhance the lives of American women. Creating training for women interested in software development professions, speeding young women’s paths through college and their early careers, and building “impactful enterprises owned by Native womxn” are among them.
For their initiatives, each of the winners will get $10 million.
“The winners are strong teams working on the front lines and from within communities to assist women in developing power in their lives and professions,” Scott said in a statement.
“We can break the patterns of history and achieve gender equality,” Melinda French Gates continued, “but we must commit to raising up organizations, such as those receiving prizes today, that are ready to raise up women and girls.”
The Gates Foundation continues to be co-chaired by Melinda Gates. She filed for divorce from Bill Gates in May, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, whose current net worth is estimated to be at $151 billion.
While Scott, whose net worth is estimated to be around $64 billion after receiving a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon shares as part of the couple’s divorce settlement last year, Last month, she revealed that she has already given roughly $1.7 billion of her fortune to 116 groups working in one of nine “areas of need,” including racial justice, LGBTQ+ equity, functional democracy, and climate change.