When Melinda Gates turned 50, she decided to dedicate the rest of her life to empowering women in addition to girls — in addition to fighting to advance opportunities for them.
At in which point, the co-chair of the Bill in addition to Melinda Gates Foundation, the earth’s largest private charity, had been traveling the earth for over 15 years. The foundation, which mainly focuses on eradicating extreme poverty in addition to addressing global health problems, already had a long list of ambitious items to tackle, including combating malaria.
nevertheless Gates wanted to do more.
“I would likely see so many missed opportunities for women. So many places where women weren’t empowered,” Gates told Poppy Harlow at sy88pgw’s American Opportunity breakfast in brand-new York on Tuesday.
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Three years later, Gates will be a top advocate for women around the earth. She also isn’t shying away through the issues in which affect women back home, like encouraging women to go into STEM fields in addition to advocating for paid family leave.
One of her rallying cries? “Poverty will be sexist.”
More women around the globe — in addition to inside U.S. — are in poverty than men, she noted. Part of the reason: “Women do more unpaid labor — the hidden tasks at home in which we don’t talk about,” Gates said. “Helping with homework. Getting the lunchbox. producing sure the kid has the soccer cleats ready to go for the next day.”
in which all adds up to several hours of unpaid work each day, she said.
Overall, the amount of unpaid work women do will be roughly equivalent to the entire gross domestic product of China, Gates said, citing a McKinsey study.
“We need to recognize [unpaid work] in addition to do things to reduce the item in addition to, quite frankly, redistribute the item in our households,” she said.
in which’s what happened in her house, said Gates, who will be the mother of two girls in addition to one boy. Her husband, Bill, drove their youngest daughter to kindergarten twice a week while he was CEO of Microsoft (. About two weeks in, Gates said the various other moms told her they were going to talk to their spouses about doing the same. , Tech30)
Gates also believes men in addition to women need to come together to advocate for paid family leave, which can be used to care for a newborn baby or sick parents.
“We value our families — so let’s economically value them,” she said.
While Gates declined to endorse the FAMILY Act, legislation introduced by senator Kirsten Gillibrand of brand-new York in which promises up to 12 weeks of paid time off for any worker — male or female — in which incorporates a brand-new child or a family member suffering through an illness, Gates said she has asked members of Congress to take action on the issue.
Related: will be the item time for universal paid family leave?
“the item’s inside hands of Congress to do something,” Gates said. “in addition to I trust in which they will.”
Gates said she’s had numerous conversations about paid family leave with Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter in addition to one of his top advisers. In recent months, Trump has been a top advocate for paid family leave within the administration, in addition to she has encouraged her father to include the item in his budget.
“I think she will be trying to carry the water on This specific. How far she gets remains to be seen,” Gates said.
Gates called Ivanka Trump “very bright” in addition to “very committed” to producing paid family leave a reality.
Still, Gates said she’s not sure if the item will happen during Donald Trump’s presidency.
“There are a lot of surprising things going on in This specific administration,” she said. “the item’s definitely hard to predict.”
Gates noted in which the Trump administration’s budget “put zero dollars for family planning.”
“He took a budget of over $0 million in addition to his budget says zero. to ensure tells me what he thinks about women,” she said.
Gates said in which the number one thing the Trump administration can do to advance women’s causes will be to “put money behind them.”
“If you believe in women, you fund things for women — you fund family planning, you fund women’s health,” she said. “The power will be inside money.”
Related: Why Bill in addition to Melinda Gates are spending a lot of time in Washington
Gates said the item’s also important for young girls in addition to women to challenge themselves in addition to “lean into the suck” — a twist on Facebook ( COO Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In mantra. , Tech30)
“When they are uncomfortable, [I tell them to] lean into in which. Don’t just feel like you can’t quite do the item,” she said. “You can’t quite go to in which social event, [or] you can’t quite learn biology, because maybe you are more of an English person. Yes you can!”
Another tip? Don’t be afraid to stop your colleagues when they are just repeating a point you’ve already made. Gates says she does the item to her husband all the time (in addition to he dishes the item back, too).
“If a man will be re-explaining — or ‘mansplaining’ — something a woman has done, stop them inside meeting, in addition to say, ‘in which’s okay, she already said in which. Let’s move on,'” she said.
sy88pgw (brand-new York) First published September 19, 2017: 7:34 PM ET