Tag: gates

The incredible life of Melinda Gates — one of the world’s richest and most powerful women

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is best known as Bill’s other half. Some may even say she’s his better half.

Melinda — who shares an estimated fortune of $89.4 billion with her husband — has become one of the most powerful female philanthropists in the world as co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which she helmed virtually on her own for the first six years of operation.

In addition to the pair’s education and healthcare initiatives, Melinda takes a personal interest in women’s issues around the world. At the forefront of her agenda is expanding the availability of contraception and, most recently, bringing awareness to the concept of time poverty — the notion that hours of daily unpaid work like household chores end up “robbing women of their potential.”

“When you invest in women, you invest in the people who invest in everybody else,” she wrote in a Fortune article last year outlining the benefits of hiring women in business. “And if you gradually start to take action, it won’t be long before you realize that investing in women is good for your mind, good for your soul, and good for your business.”

On International Women’s Day, a celebration of women’s progress and achievements, here’s a look at the incredible force that is Melinda Gates.

SEE ALSO: Melinda Gates reveals the best way for cash-strapped 20-somethings to make a big impact in philanthropy

DON’T MISS: The Bill Gates Interview

Melinda Gates (neè French) grew up in Dallas, Texas, with her parents — a stay-at-home mother and an aerospace-engineer father — and her three siblings. The family belonged to the local Roman Catholic parish.

Source: Telegraph

The Frenches were intent on sending all four of their children to college, so Melinda’s father started a side business for rental properties. “We would help him run the business and keep the books,” she said. “We saw money coming in and money going out.”

Source: Fortune

Melinda was valedictorian and head of the drill team at her high school, Ursuline Academy of Dallas. In 2007, the Gates Foundation donated $7 million to Ursuline for the construction of The French Family Science, Math, and Technology Center — a 70,000 sq. ft. LEED Gold certified laboratory and classroom building.

Source: Ursuline Dallas, Marie Claire

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Harvard dropout Bill Gates thinks the value of college is ‘easy to underestimate’ (MSFT)

bill gates harvard commencement

Bill Gates, who famously dropped out of Harvard in 1975 to work on Microsoft, said today that the value of college “is easy to underestimate.”

During a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” or AMA session today, Gates, the richest man in the world, wrote

I think the value of getting a great education – that is going to college – is easy to underestimate. The most interesting jobs require a college education. The STEM related jobs are probably the most interesting although they are not for everyone. The value of staying curious – reading a lot and learning new things even after college is also underestimated. 

Indeed, Gates has always been a big proponent of expanding one’s horizons through reading. In fact, he reads more than 50 books a year

It also does seem like Gates has evolved his thinking on college — despite his own status as a dropout, his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has made affordable college eduction a big priority, even as it’s become a big point of policy for politicians.

Besides, in 2007, Gates returned to Harvard to accept an honorary degree. 

SEE ALSO: Bill Gates says there’s one problem even his massive wealth can’t solve

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Bill Gates offered the best advice on how to not feel overwhelmed when taking on huge projects

Bill Gates

Bill and Melinda Gates released their annual foundation letter on Tuesday in which they revealed the superpowers they wished they had: more time, more energy.

Yes, even the richest people in the world desire things they can’t have. Bill and Melinda were thinking about superpowers after being asked a bunch of stuff by some high school students in Kentucky, they explained in the letter.

To talk about the letter, and the upcoming goals they have for their foundation, the couple did a live Q&A on YouTube with author and YouTube star, John Green.

Green had an even bigger question for the Gates: who were their favorite superheroes? 

Melinda’s superhero is Wonder Woman. “I loved that she had those big, huge, bracelets. And she had this lasso of truth. Any man that she lassoed with her lasso of truth who was a bad guy, he had to tell the truth. I thought that was pretty great.”

As for Bill, he’s all in for Superman because “he had a lot of powers. He wasn’t one that could do just one little thing and tried to fit that in. He could fly, he could see through walls, he was very strong guy.”

But there’s a bigger moral to the story.

Later, an audience member asked the Gates how they don’t get overwhelmed by all the people in need and the difficult problems their foundation takes on — for example, how do the Gates cope with not having enough time or energy.

Gates had a great answer: think about what you can and are doing, not about what you can’t do. 

He said:

“If you only think of it in the negative sense of ‘oh, you should feel bad about this, and why do you have so much when people don’t have these other things,’ that kind of puts people off. And yet if you say, ‘hey this is improving and you can accelerate that change,’ then they get a sense of, ‘I want to be part of that.'”

Gates says the foundation also has focus, mostly on health, and it does a lot of measurement of its programs.

Equally importantly, Gates makes many trips to visit the people they are helping, and the ones he couldn’t help.

For instance, he “met the last kid in India that was paralyzed from polio. It’s a very sad story, because that kid growing up will have a lot of limits. But this was the last kid in India who got polio. Now, we’re down to the last countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and hopefully, either this year or next, the last cases in the world,” he said.

So having “bold goals” with a sense of “progress and optimism. That helps you not despair at knowing there’s so much to get done.”

Gates is using this combo (optimism, measurement, a focus on progress and reality checks with the people impacted) to cure the world of polio. But the same advice can be applied to any area in our lives where the goal is big and hard and it’s easy to get discouraged.

SEE ALSO: Malcolm Gladwell explains how to get someone to make the right decision when they don’t want to

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