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

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

Posted: Jul 30, 2021 6:01 AM
Updated: Jul 30, 2021 6:01 AM

In a powerful philanthropic pairing, Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott have teamed up to direct $40 million to advancing the power and influence of American women over the next decade.

The donation is being awarded to winners of the Equality Can't Wait Challenge, a competition hosted by French 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. The challenge 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 four contest winners — which were chosen from among 550 applicants — proposed various creative ways to empower and improve the lives of women and gender non-conforming people in the United States. They include 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 womxn."

Many of these issues have become particularly important given the Covid-19 pandemic's outsized impact on women, which experts have said set gender equality back by years. Each winning organization 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.

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 were formerly married to Seattle-based tech founders Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos, respectively, have become powerful philanthropists in their own rights. Both women, who are among the richest people in the world, have signed The Giving Pledge, promising to give away the majority of their wealth in their lifetimes.

French Gates remains co-chair of The Gates Foundation, which has funneled significant funding to Covid-19 research and vaccination efforts over the past year and a half, among other initiatives. With Pivotal Ventures, French Gates supports women working in key sectors, such as technology, women running for office and other efforts. In May, she filled for divorce from Bill Gates, whose current net worth stands at about $151 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Scott said last month that she has already donated nearly $1.7 billion of her fortune to 116 organizations focused on one of nine "areas of need," including racial equity, LGBTQ+ equity, functional democracy and climate 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 net worth is estimated to be around $64 billion, according to Bloomberg. She received a quarter of Bezos' Amazon shares in the couple's divorce settlement last year, giving her a 4% stake that was worth more than $35 billion at the time.

Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled MacKenzie Scott's name.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

Terre Haute
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 66°
Robinson
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 66°
Indianapolis
Mostly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 61°
Rockville
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 66°
Casey
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 66°
Brazil
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 66°
Marshall
Partly Cloudy
66° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 66°
Sunny and dry, but cool and breezy!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1605320

Reported Deaths: 27132
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook61354910964
DuPage1039171357
Will873121089
Lake771121060
Kane65888850
Winnebago39007544
Madison38143576
St. Clair35003569
McHenry33032316
Peoria25972362
Champaign25862182
Sangamon24588271
McLean21879207
Tazewell19736326
Rock Island17806344
Kankakee16784234
Kendall15459106
LaSalle14496275
Macon14478240
Vermilion13234189
Adams12695148
DeKalb11667128
Williamson11419157
Whiteside7897176
Jackson769188
Boone760082
Coles7341112
Ogle713486
Grundy701281
Franklin686899
Clinton681498
Knox6651164
Marion6547138
Macoupin646399
Henry620474
Jefferson6060132
Effingham604382
Livingston571295
Woodford554291
Stephenson546289
Randolph529297
Monroe508199
Christian491780
Fulton487970
Morgan487296
Logan477474
Montgomery467476
Lee458156
Bureau427188
Perry415171
Saline409263
Fayette398956
Iroquois394673
McDonough354956
Jersey322253
Shelby311843
Douglas306636
Crawford304130
Lawrence301131
Union296747
Wayne274057
White265930
Richland262054
Hancock256334
Pike255956
Cass250928
Clark250738
Bond244024
Clay240047
Ford235256
Edgar234744
Carroll225437
Warren224960
Johnson213524
Moultrie211831
Jo Daviess206126
Washington206127
Wabash200915
Greene200739
Mason199351
Massac198144
De Witt195530
Piatt190814
Mercer190634
Cumberland178325
Menard158612
Jasper152418
Marshall134721
Hamilton128821
Brown10178
Pulaski98311
Schuyler9688
Edwards96315
Stark76827
Gallatin7435
Scott6975
Alexander67611
Henderson65114
Calhoun6442
Hardin56013
Putnam5444
Pope4815
Unassigned1882432
Out of IL40

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 941120

Reported Deaths: 15315
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1282511983
Lake633041097
Allen53609758
Hamilton43827447
St. Joseph41906590
Elkhart33545490
Vanderburgh30383448
Tippecanoe26820249
Johnson23609417
Hendricks22250341
Porter21737346
Clark17409229
Madison17366384
Vigo16108281
Monroe14466191
LaPorte14311239
Delaware14070221
Howard13865272
Kosciusko11418135
Hancock10841165
Warrick10674177
Bartholomew10542168
Floyd10430205
Wayne9959226
Grant9130204
Morgan8865160
Boone8389111
Dubois7710123
Dearborn762289
Henry7608130
Noble7413101
Marshall7362128
Cass7176117
Lawrence6957153
Shelby6584111
Jackson656785
Gibson6156107
Harrison603786
Huntington600195
Montgomery5805105
DeKalb574291
Knox5494104
Miami542488
Putnam536768
Clinton533665
Whitley524953
Steuben497268
Wabash483592
Jasper479160
Jefferson470092
Ripley454277
Adams444068
Daviess4169108
Scott405865
White391857
Clay390857
Greene388392
Decatur385296
Wells384983
Fayette374278
Posey359941
Jennings353156
Washington332047
LaGrange321375
Spencer317835
Fountain316555
Randolph312888
Sullivan307449
Owen283863
Starke280064
Fulton277553
Orange275859
Jay254837
Perry251652
Carroll243729
Franklin239338
Rush234130
Vermillion233250
Parke219820
Tipton209655
Pike207639
Blackford168334
Pulaski163551
Crawford146018
Newton144345
Benton142516
Brown135346
Martin128217
Switzerland125810
Warren114616
Union96911
Ohio79711
Unassigned0479