Story at a glance

  • Organizations will compete in the "Equality Can’t Wait Challenge" for $30 million in grants to expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030.
  • The funding comes from Melinda Gates’ investment and incubation company and MacKenzie Bezos.
  • At least two winners will be granted a minimum of $10 million in grants.

One of the richest women in the United States, MacKenzie Bezos, is partnering with Melinda Gates to offer millions of dollars in grants to organizations working towards gender equality. 

“The entrenched inequalities that divide America—race, gender, class—will not go away without systems-wide change,” said Melinda Gates in a release. “This Challenge is seeking bold ideas to dismantle the status quo and expand power and influence for women of all backgrounds.”  


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The billionaires are funding the $30 million "Equality Can’t Wait Challenge” through Gates’ investment and incubation company Pivotal Ventures. Organizations are being asked to submit their ideas to help expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030. At least two proposals will be awarded a minimum of $10 million in grants, with an additional $10 million going towards the remaining finalists. 


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“Closing the gap on gender equality will benefit everyone. History keeps teaching us that when a diversity of voices is represented in decisions, the outcome is better for all,” said Bezos, who became one of the richest women in the world after finalizing her divorce with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos in July 2019. “I’m excited that the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge will focus energy and innovation on this vital catalyst for positive change.”  

Proposals will be judged on innovation and feasibility, but also intersectionality, considering the ways race, class and sexuality affect women as well. The deadline for registration is Sept. 1, with applications due on Sept. 22. Finalists are set to be announced in early 2021. 


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Published on Jun 16, 2020