Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife MacKenzie is teaming up with her richest peer, Melinda Gates, for a grand philanthropic venture designed to assist US women from all backgrounds gain more power in diverse walks of life, Forbes reported.
The project titled Equality Can’t Wait Challenge will inject $30 million to the organisations with the best business ideas to expand women’s involvement in the crucial spheres of life in the country by 2030, with the project website explaining its goals in the following way:
“We are looking for creative solutions to accelerate progress for women of all backgrounds in the United States by expanding their power and influence. This means we want more women, especially women of colour, in positions to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives in their homes, workplaces, and communities".
The Equality Can’t Wait Challenge will make use of the non-profit infrastructure that Melinda Gates has long had running: the funds will come through Pivotal Ventures, Gates’ investment and incubation company, while Lever For Change, a MacArthur Foundation affiliate, will shoulder the umbrella management of the challenge.
“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", MacKenzie Bezos praised the challenge in a statement Tuesday.
A spokesperson for Lever for Change noted that the competition had been in the works for the past six months and that the timing of its announcement, shortly after massive protests against racial injustice started spreading across the nation triggered by African American George Floyd’s death, should not be perceived as a reaction to the reality, but a development resulting from substantive conversations.
Since founding an anti-bullying organisation called Bystander Revolution in 2014 and splitting up with the tech maverick, MacKenzie Bezos has kept a low profile. Most recently, she joined the board of Blue Meridian, which aims to bring positive change to impoverished families and children, as well as signed the Giving Pledge, vowing to give away at least half of her $50 billion fortune.