Gates Foundation gives $80 million to closing the gender gap

Melinda Gates announced a three-year program to collect data on working women and ultimately improve pay equality.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it will donate $80 million to help close the gender gap and advance pay equality.

"We cannot close the gender gap if we do not close the data gap," Melinda Gates, who co-chairs the foundation with her husband Bill Gates, said in a statement. "If advocacy for women and girls is about giving voice to the voiceless – gathering and analyzing data is about making the invisible visible."

To that end, Gates said the funding will be used to collect data in areas such as time use, unpaid work, and economic empowerment.

Gates revealed the three-year initiative last week at the 4th Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

“There are two reasons why it is absolutely fundamental that women go into technology: One is that they are some of the highest-paying jobs in the United States, so that should be open to women," Gates told New York Magazine after the announcement. "Secondly, that’s where all the new innovations are coming from.”

Gates also said that the technology industry needs to arm more women with the capital necessary to create apps innovations. 

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