Melinda French Gates to Leave Foundation, Focus on Gender Equality with $12.5B

Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has announced her resignation from the foundation, effective June 7, and will dedicate $12.5 billion to her organization Pivotal Ventures, focusing on advancing gender equality and supporting women and families globally. This significant shift in philanthropic focus has the potential to drive meaningful change in gender equality, with far-reaching implications for women's empowerment and social justice worldwide. This description highlights the primary topic (Melinda French Gates' resignation from the Gates Foundation), the main entities (Melinda French Gates, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Pivotal Ventures), the context (philanthropic focus on gender equality), and the significant actions and implications (dedicating $12.5 billion to Pivotal Ventures, potential impact on gender equality and social justice). This information will guide the AI in creating an accurate and meaningful visual representation of the article's content.

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Nitish Verma
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Melinda French Gates to Leave Foundation, Focus on Gender Equality with $12.5B

Melinda French Gates to Leave Foundation, Focus on Gender Equality with $12.5B

Melinda French Gates, co-chair of the foundation, has announced her resignation from the foundation effective June 7. French Gates will leave with $12.5 billion to commit to her work on behalf of women and families, particularly through her organization Pivotal Ventures.

Why this matters: This significant shift in philanthropic focus has the potential to drive meaningful change in gender equality, with far-reaching implications for women's empowerment and social justice globally. As one of the most influential philanthropists in the world, French Gates' commitment to this cause could inspire others to follow suit, leading to a broader impact on gender equality initiatives.

In a statement posted on LinkedIn, French Gates said, "The time is right for me to move forward into the next chapter of my philanthropy." She emphasized the critical moment for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, stating, "Those fighting to protect and advance equality are in urgent need of support."

French Gates co-founded the foundation with her former husband, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in 2000. The foundation has grown to have a staff of over 2,000 and an endowment of $75.2 billion as of last year. Under the terms of her divorce agreement, French Gates will allocate the $12.5 billion she is taking to focus on increasing the power and influence of women through avenues like closing the gender pay gap and increasing women's political participation.

Organizations that have received steady support from French Gates, such as Paid Leave For All and the Ms. Foundation for Women, anticipate the significant impact her funding and focus will have. Dawn Huckelbridge, founding director of Paid Leave For All, noted, "If you're only willing to invest in a thing that you think is surely going to win in the short term, then you're not making much of an impact."

French Gates' future plans center around her organization Pivotal Ventures, a limited liability company that manages investments in for-profit ventures focused on women's issues in the United States. While the exact details are yet to be announced, French Gates said, "I'll be sharing more about what that will look like in the near future."

The Gates Foundation has released a statement acknowledging French Gates' departure, saying, "Her vision will leave a lasting legacy, and our foundation remains committed to creating a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy and productive life." The foundation, which will be renamed the Gates Foundation, has been a major funder of global health initiatives, education policy, and research. French Gates has already helped cement a gender equity lens within the foundation's programs to ensure it continues past her departure.

Melinda French Gates' decision to step down from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation marks the end of a 24-year philanthropic partnership. With $12.5 billion in hand, French Gates is poised to make an even greater impact on advancing gender equality and supporting women and families in the United States and around the world. As she embarks on this new chapter, the philanthropic community eagerly awaits to see the transformative change her efforts will undoubtedly bring.

Key Takeaways

  • Melinda French Gates resigns from the Gates Foundation, effective June 7.
  • She'll take $12.5 billion to focus on women's empowerment and gender equality through Pivotal Ventures.
  • French Gates co-founded the foundation with Bill Gates in 2000, which now has a $75.2 billion endowment.
  • Her new focus will prioritize closing the gender pay gap and increasing women's political participation.
  • The philanthropic community expects her efforts to drive meaningful change in gender equality globally.