Melinda’s journey to escape Bill Gates’ shadow

Melinda's journey to escape Bill Gates' shadow 1
Melinda's journey to escape Bill Gates' shadow 1

“We argued a lot,” Melinda Gates wrote in her 2019 memoir. “Bill said that the process we had been doing with the Annual Letter for the foundation was working very well for many years, he did not

Melinda Gates (left) chats with Oprah Winfrey on stage during a recording session in Manhattan, New York, in February 2019.

Finally, Bill agreed to let his wife write a separate article on contraception, while he wrote the annual keynote update for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

It was not until 2015 that the two people signed the letter.

Melinda’s many-year journey to escape the shadow of Bill Gates turned to a new page, after the American billionaire couple announced their divorce on May 3 after 27 years of marriage, because `the marriage has broken down and cannot be saved.`

Melinda, 56, who grew up in Texas, dated Bill Gates, 65, after a company dinner in New York in 1987. The two quietly married in 1994 and had three children.

After the divorce, she will continue to run the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with the founder of Microsoft.

After graduating with a master’s degree from Duke University in 1987, she was invited to work at IBM, a multinational computer technology corporation.

However, after the interview with IBM, the recruiter advised Melinda to work at Microsoft because of `huge advancement opportunities`.

From 1990 to 1996, she held the position of General Manager of Information Products, then left the company to focus on taking care of her family.

`The scene in Africa is amazing. But what really touches us are the people and the extreme poverty there,` she shared.

Since then, she began making many donations worth hundreds of millions of dollars, most recently giving Emory University, Georgia, a $180 million grant to research the causes of death in children.

She founded Pivotal Ventures in 2015. This is an investment company focused on women and families, aiming to `increase understanding of issues, expand participation, encourage collaboration, promote

Melinda’s company invests in businesses that support paid leave, support mental health counseling for teens, and eliminate the gender gap in technology.

Thanks to her contributions, she and her husband were awarded the Medal of Freedom by US President Barack Obama in 2016. Forbes magazine has also ranked Melinda on the list of the most powerful women in the world for many years.

Melinda's journey to escape Bill Gates' shadow

Bill Gates (right) and Melinda in an interview in 2015. Photo: AP.

She also wrote books on women’s empowerment issues.

`The world is finally waking up to the reality that none of us can move forward when half of us are held back. The data is clear: empowered women will transform society.`

Melinda’s level of influence will likely be determined in part by the division of Bill Gates’ assets, a fortune Forbes estimates at up to 130.5 billion USD.

The news of Bill and Melinda’s divorce after 34 years together and 27 years of marriage shocked the world, similar to the 2019 divorce of billionaire Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.

Bezos left his wife 4% of the company’s shares, making MacKenzie Scott a billionaire and one of the world’s leading philanthropists.

Kara Swisher, a technology journalist, said she was `seeing a lot of interesting memes` comparing MacKenzie Scott and Melinda Gates, but noted that `Melinda has made a lot of investments through Pivotal Ventures and is

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