Melinda Gates: Women’s Struggle with Being Genuine

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In another election year, Cosmo focuses on women’s impact in politics. Over the years, their guide on running for office has spurred progress, with women now holding a third of state legislature seats and 28% of Congress. Melinda French Gates’ Pivotal Ventures partners with Cosmo to aid women in office, acknowledging the need for structural change to support female politicians fully.

French Gates emphasizes the urgency for gender parity, stating it could take 100 years without intervention. To accelerate progress, she advocates for easier access to funding, networks, and training for aspiring female politicians. Structural barriers like insufficient legislative pay and lack of paid leave hinder women’s participation.

Despite the slow pace, there’s been significant improvement, with women now constituting 28% of Congress. French Gates encourages channeling frustration into action, noting the importance of women in politics.

The project “How to Succeed in Office” highlights challenges faced by elected women, such as sexism and double standards. French Gates suggests seeking support networks and advocating for systemic change.

She underscores the significance of state legislatures and urges greater public awareness of their impact. To effect change, she advises engaging in local campaigns, volunteering, and making small-dollar donations.

French Gates admires the resilience of elected women facing immense challenges and emphasizes the transformative power of their work. While she remains committed to supporting changemakers, she encourages women to run for office themselves.

Re-reported from the article originally published in COSMOPOLITAN.

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