Melinda Gates funnels $50M into gender equity initiatives in tech hubs

announced on Jan. 28 a new initiative to make three U.S. tech hubs more inclusive by boosting representation and leadership of women, beginning this month in Chicago.

Backed by $50 million from Pivotal Ventures, the Gender Equality in Tech Cities initiative will tap local academic, nonprofit, government, business and venture capital organizations to provide funding, resources and other support to women across each city’s tech ecosystem, including students, employees, founders and investors.

GET Cities will be implemented in Chicago and two more tech hubs, still to be determined, over the course of five years. Chicago was chosen as the first GET Cities site based on an analysis of its computing degree programs and industry, talent sources, access to capital, business and employer community and regulatory environment.

The initiative is part of Ms. Gates’ pledge in October 2019 to allot a total of $1 billion via Pivotal Ventures to battle gender inequity in the U.S. The funding will prioritize initiatives that eliminate barriers to women’s professional advancement, advance women in influential sectors such as tech, media and public office, and mobilize shareholders, consumers and employees to reform their organizations.

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