Screen shot courtesy of Melinda French Gates via Twitter.

Ursuline alumna Melinda French Gates has partnered with MacKenzie Scott to give $40 million to support women over the next 10 years.

The donation will go to the four winners of the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge, which was hosted by French Gates’ investment firm Pivotal Ventures with financial support from Scott and her husband, Dan Jewett. The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies also contributed to the competition, which asked applicants to propose ways to empower and improve the lives of women and gender non-conforming people in the U.S.

About 550 applicants submitted ideas. Each of the winning projects will receive $10 million.

“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,” French Gates said in a statement.

Here are the proposals of the contest winners:

  • Establish publicly supported infrastructure for childcare and caregiving
  • Create training for women interested in software development careers
  • Accelerate young women’s paths through college and early on in their careers
  • Scale impactful businesses owned by Native womxn entrepreneurs

Learn more about the winning projects in the video below.


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