Pivotal Ventures, Melinda Gates’ investment, and incubation company, with additional support from MacKenzie Bezos, is launching the Equality Can’t-Wait Challenge, which will award $30 million to help expand women’s power and influence in the United States by 2030.
Recent events have highlighted the urgent need for equality in America, and they have to stay committed to advancing systemic change for women of all backgrounds. Accelerating progress toward gender equality will require many things, especially strategic capital and stakeholder collaboration. Through this competition, they are looking for innovative ideas that will bring additional capital and energy into one or more key areas that can expand women’s power and influence:
- Dismantling the barriers that hold women back. We need to remove the barriers that affect women most, by 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. Research shows that there are essential sectors that have an outsized impact on society. By creating entry points and consistent support for women to advance within industries such as 1) public office, 2) tech, 3) academia, 4) media and entertainment, 5) finance, and 6) entrepreneurship, we can take important steps to expand women’s power and influence.
- Calling society to action. We must change outdated systems, institutions, and beliefs by enlisting society to take action. By arming key stakeholders – including CEOs, community leaders, consumers, and employees – with resources and data around the issues, we can influence and exert greater pressure from every angle.
Up to 10 participants will be named as 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, to be paid out over five years. An additional $10 million will be allocated among finalists and determined at the award decision stage.
Please note: They welcome ideas on other strategic approaches as they relate to the goal of expanding women’s power and influence. To be successful, the ideas must demonstrate that they can have an equitable, measurable and rapid improvement over one or more of the metrics listed – wages and wealth gap, unpaid care, leadership roles held by women, content created by women, or public perceptions of women’s power and influence.
They are looking for innovative ideas from U.S.-based organizations or coalitions of organizations. Eligible lead applicants can include:
- An entity under section 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1) or (2) of the Internal Revenue Code (“IRC”) that has received a tax determination letter from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”).
- A private foundation under section 501(c)(3) of the IRC has received a tax determination letter from the IRS.
- A tribal government or tribal-owned enterprise.
- A public university, junior college, or college.
- Eligible organizations are welcome to partner with for-profit companies, foundations, schools, colleges and universities, government agencies, individuals, and other entities in order to implement the initiative.
For more information, visit https://www.equalitycantwaitchallenge.org/