Pivotal Ventures launches challenge to accelerate gender equality

Pivotal Ventures launches challenge to accelerate gender equality

Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates, has announced the launch of a $30 million challenge dedicated to accelerating progress toward gender equality.

Managed by Lever for Change, an affiliate of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Equality Can't Wait Challenge will award the funds to the organization or coalition of organizations with the most compelling proposals for expanding, by 2030, women's power and influence in the United States. Lever for Change encourages organizations to submit creative solutions aimed at expanding power for women of all backgrounds — especially women of color — putting them in a stronger position to contribute to decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives. To that end, the challenge welcomes proposals that offer solutions in one or more areas, including efforts to dismantle the barriers that hold women back in their careers and at home, as well as to create entry points and advancement opportunities for women in critical sectors.

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

"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 Giving Pledge signatory MacKenzie Bezos, who also provided support for the challenge. "I'm excited that the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge will focus energy and innovation on this vital catalyst for positive change."