When Melinda Gates asked her husband, Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates, to let her coauthor the 2013 annual letter about their foundation, the conversation blew up into a fight.
“It got hot,” Melinda Gates wrote in her 2019 book The Moment of Lift.
“Bill said the process we had for the Annual Letter had been working well for the foundation for years, and he didn’t see why it should change,” she wrote.
Ultimately, Bill Gates agreed for her to write a separate piece about contraceptives, while he penned the main letter about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work.
In the next year’s letter, Melinda Gates wrote about one of three myths that “block progress for the poor,” while Bill handled the other two. In 2015, they both signed the letter.
“He’s had to learn how to be an equal, and I’ve had to learn how to step up and be an equal,” Melinda Gates wrote, adding earlier in the book that she was naturally “shy” and “private.”
Melinda Gates’ journey away from Bill Gates’ shadow is set to enter a new phase after the benefactors on Monday announced that they would divorce after 27 years, saying in a court filing that “this marriage is irretrievably broken.”
The 56-year-old, who met Bill Gates, 65, at a company dinner in New York, is to continue to run the foundation with him, but she has also positioned herself as a women’s rights advocate.
In 2015, she founded Pivotal Ventures, an investment company focused on women and families, while her book is centered on issues of female empowerment.
“The world is finally waking up to the fact that none of us can move forward when half of us are held back. The data is clear: empowered women transform societies,” she wrote in a note about her book.
The extent of Melinda Gates’ impact is likely to be determined in part by what happens to Bill Gates’ fortune, estimated by Forbes at about US$130.5 billion. In their divorce filing, the spouses said they had agreed on a division of assets, but did not disclose details.
MacKenzie Scott’s 2019 divorce from Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos left her with a 4 percent stake in the company, which she has used to become a leading philanthropist.
Tech journalist Kara Swisher wrote on Twitter that she was “seeing a lot of funny” memes about Scott and Melinda Gates road-tripping, “but FYI: Melinda has done a ton of investing via her Pivotal Ventures and has been the key player in the Gates Foundation with Bill for long time, so not sure much will change.”
When Melinda Gates asked her husband, Microsoft Corp cofounder Bill Gates, to let her coauthor the 2013 annual letter about their foundation, the conversation blew up into a fight. “It got hot,” Melinda Gates wrote in her 2019 book The Moment of Lift. “Bill said the process we had for the Annual Letter had been working well for the foundation for years, and he didn’t see why it should change,” she wrote. Ultimately, Bill Gates agreed for her to write a separate piece about contraceptives, while he penned the main letter about the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s work. In the next year’s letter,
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