Equality Can’t Wait Challenge

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By Molly Norton

How can we help?

That question is our starting point for understanding how to fulfill our company’s purpose: to help our clients, colleagues, and the global community live richer lives.

Naturally, then, it was the first thought that came to mind when we heard about the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge. The effort is a $30 million commitment from MacKenzie Bezos and Melinda Gates to support organizations with transformational ideas that will expand women’s power and influence by 2030.

At least two grants of a minimum of $10 million will be awarded to the top proposals. The proposals must focus on one of the challenge’s three priority areas, with a preference for projects that support women of color, LGBTQ women, and low-income women:

  • Barriers to opportunity like sexual harassment, lack of caregiving options, and bias
  • Underrepresentation of women in key sectors, like technology, government, and entrepreneurship
  • Lack of resources and data on gender equality

The Equality Can’t Wait Challenge comes as the World Economic Forum projects that it will take 208 years to reach gender equality in the United States.


In an effort to support the full range of people and organizations working on these issues, we thought: how can we help elevate their work?

To that end, we want to reach out and ask you: if you know of great organizations that fit the criteria and wish to apply for the challenge but could use extra support with drafting, budgets, and strategy, we’d love to offer our team for assistance.

Between our colleagues and clients, we have investors, board members, non-profit founders, women leaders, and strategists, all poised to help bring a great proposal to life.

The application period is open through September 1, 2020, and winners will be announced in the summer of 2021.

In the meantime, there’s a lot we can each do in our own lives to accelerate progress toward gender equality, whether it’s by volunteering our time, starting conversations in our families and workplaces, or supporting organizations.

Feel free to reach out to our philanthropy department to discuss the Equality Can’t Wait Challenge.

Molly Norton is the philanthropic advisor at Brighton Jones.

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