Melinda Gates and MacKenzie Bezos, two of the world’s wealthiest women, have teamed up to roll out a $30 million initiative that will provide grants to organizations focused on improving gender equality. The fund will be managed by Lever for Change’s Equality Can’t Wait initiative. The organization, founded by MacKenzie Bezo, launched the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge earlier this year. The intention is to expand women’s power and influence in the U.S. by 2030.
The goal of the Challenge is to accelerate the pace of progress for more women of all backgrounds to be in positions to make decisions, control resources, and shape policies and perspectives in their homes, workplaces, and communities.
According to a statement posted on the Equality Can’t Wait website:
Women in the U.S. should have equal power and influence in our country. Progress is happening, but not fast enough.
To help speed things up, we’ve launched the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge—awarding $30 million for big, bold ideas to expand women’s power and influence.
Grants will be awarded to organizations that addresses one or more of the following challenges:
- Dismantling the barriers that hold women back. Challenging biased narratives, addressing racial inequity, ending sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, and helping women balance their career, home, and families.
- Fast-tracking women in critical sectors. Create opportunities and consistent support for women to enter into industries where they are currently underrepresented. Such industries include public office, technology, academia, media and entertainment, finance, and entrepreneurship.
- Calling society to action. Educate key stakeholders – including CEOs, community leaders, consumers, and employees – with resources and data around gender equality issues.
Grants will be awarded to up to 10 finalists. Finalists are eligible to receive a one-time award of $100,000 and have the opportunity to revise and resubmit their proposal. Once resubmitted, at least two grants of a minimum of $10 million will be awarded to the top proposals. This will be paid out over five years. An additional $10 million will be allocated among finalists and determined at the award decision stage.
Get application details of the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge here