Story at a glance:

  • Melinda French Gates and MacKenzie Scott have teamed up to give away $40 million to four organizations promoting gender equality.
  • Since her divorce from Jeff Bezos, Scott has been donating her fortune to hundreds of organizations.
  • More than 550 applicants applied to the donation pool.

They were known for being married to some of the world’s wealthiest men, but now, Melinda French Gates ( the soon to be ex-wife of Microsoft founder Bill Gates) and MacKenzie Scott (Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife) announced a new joint donation.

Hosted by French Gates’ investment firm Pivotal Ventures and supported by Scott and her new husband Dan Jewett, who is a Seattle science teacher, the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge event announced the awardees are four organizations that promote gender equality. They will receive up to $40 million, The New York Post reported.


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“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, who became the world’s richest woman after divorcing Bezos in 2019, said in a statement. “And best of all, they’re not alone.”

Since her divorce to Bezos, Scott has been donating her fortune to hundreds of organizations.

As Changing America previously reported, she has donated more than $2.7 billion to 286 different organizations to tackle a range of issues. 

Scott also donated $1.7 billion to historically Black colleges and universities in July 2020, along with other groups. In December, she announced she gave away an additional $4.2 billion to hundreds of organizations.

Scott has a net worth of about $61 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, and her ex-husband remains the wealthiest man in the world, according to Bloomberg.

More than 550 applicants, including organizations that focused on various aspects of gender equality, such as caregiving, as well as tech and career development, higher education and minority communities, make up the applicant pool.

“The overwhelming response to the challenge proves there’s no shortage of transformational ideas about how to accelerate progress for women and girls,” 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.”

As The Hill previously reported, the announcement that Melinda and Bill were divorcing — the pair founded the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 and were married for 27 years — came as a surprise to many.

Their foundation has played an active role in the battle against COVID-19, committing hundreds of millions of dollars toward the development and distribution of coronavirus tests, treatments and vaccines.


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Published on Jul 30, 2021