This month’s Women Who Inspire needs no introduction. We have a serious #womancrush on Melinda Gates. From her work globally with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and donating $1 billion (yes, with a “B”) to promote gender equality because #equalitycantwait, we appreciate all Melinda Gates does to fuel young women to succeed no matter where they are in the world.
As Melinda stated in her article in TIME for her big donation announcement: “Here’s what keeps me up at night: I imagine waking up one morning to find that the country has moved on. That the media has stopped reporting on systemic inequalities. That diversity remains something companies talk about instead of prioritizing. That all of this energy and attention has amounted to a temporary swell instead of a sea change. There is too much at stake to allow that to happen. Too many people—women and men—have worked too hard to get us this far. And there are too many possible solutions we haven’t tried yet. That’s why, over the next ten years, I am committing $1 billion to expanding women’s power and influence in the United States.”
Melinda Gates is from our HQ town of Dallas and attended well-known all-girls school Ursuline Academy. After high school, she attended Duke University undergrad and then received her Master’s at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business in business administration. After she began working at Microsoft, she met her husband Bill and of course, you know what happened next. When she co-founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation she restructured it in 2012 to give $560 million to assist women in poor countries with access to contraception. From there, she’s continued to do incredible work for women here in the U.S. and across the globe. If you haven’t read it yet, we highly recommend her book, The Moment of Lift for continued inspiration from our shero.
As Gates’ states, “It wasn’t just grand gestures that got us here. It was daily acts of courage, too.” From the grand gestures to her daily acts of courage, Melinda Gates is a true example of talking the talk, and walking the walk – and we’re so grateful for her grit, grace and true leadership.