“Today’s workforce is forcing parents and caregivers to make impossible choices between work and family,” are the words that American philanthropist Melinda Gates said of today’s workforce during her speech at the 2018 South By Southwest (SXSW) Conference. Melinda’s passion for ending gender inequality within the workplace is just one of the countless initiatives that she has implemented in her years working as a philanthropist.
Like Melinda Gates, Stay In The Game recognizes the ongoing inequality that women continue to experience in the workplace. Melinda’s passion for gender equality is just one of the reasons that we have chosen her for this month’s female leadership spotlight.
Melinda Gates is the co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of people around the world. In addition to Melinda’s devotion to overcoming gender inequality in the workplace, she works with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to provide access to quality healthcare and a great education worldwide. For each initiative, her focus stands to help create a path out of the cycle of poverty, not only here in the United States, but around the world. In the United States, the foundation continues to help communities that have some of the fewest resources access the opportunities they need to get a complete education.
As Melinda Gates described their strategy with education in America, “We will work with networks of middle and high schools across the country to help them develop and implement their own strategies for overcoming the obstacles that keep students from succeeding. We will help these networks with the process: using key indicators of student success like grades and attendance to drive continuous learning and improvement.”
In recent years, Melinda Gates has shifted much of her focus to the gender inequality in the field of technology, and what can be done to get more women interested in the field. In order to tackle the problem, Melinda created a three-year initiative where her primary focus will be to support women in the tech sector. As part of that initiative, Melinda donated $200,000 to a startup company named Alice, an artificial intelligence company that is run by two female entrepreneurs. Her hopes are to encourage more women in the field.
“We can decide that structural inequity in tech ends with us and that every technologist who is willing to contribute their talents and brainpower to our collective future should have the chance,” Melinda said about her decision to support female startup companies.
Melinda Gates has been recognized for her incredible work as a philanthropist over the years, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama in 2016.
Like Melinda Gates, Mona Andrews recognizes the difference in the number of men who work and remain in the workforce compared to the number of women who remain in the workforce. Mona’s decision to create Stay In The Game came about after seeing the continued frustration that women experience when trying to re-enter the workforce after starting a family. As Mona Andrews, CEO of Stay In The Game summed it up, “the paradigm we have been living with hasn’t changed since the industrial revolution. It is time for the ‘workplace’ to be more appropriate to the workforce.”
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