Powerful Women: Melinda Gates

I’ve never been married (or even close to it, as I’m far too young) but I can only imagine how much pressure would be put on myself if I were to marry an immensely successful man. How does a woman make her own mark in the world, when their husband’s success towers over most men in the world?

Melinda Gates is beyond inspiring, for doing just that. Her husband is the world famous Bill Gates. You may have heard of him, as he co-founded the world’s largest personal computer software company, Microsoft. Although her husband is one of the most powerful men in the world, Melinda finds a way to stand next to him rather than behind him.

Born in Dallas, Texas in 1964, Melinda was a very bright student. She graduated as valedictorian from Ursuline Academy of Dallas and then moved on to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science and economics from Duke University. Afterwards, she earned a Master’s degree from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

With her impressive academic degrees, Melina joined Microsoft and aided in the development of Microsoft multimedia products such as Publisher, Microsoft Bob, Encarta, and Expedia. While working at Microsoft, Melinda met Bill and the couple married during a private ceremony in Lanai, Hawaii. Melinda left Microsoft when she was Microsoft’s General Manager of Information Products, to focus on raising their three children: Jennifer, Phoebe and Rory.

One of the most admirable qualities of the Gates family is that they never let their money get to their head and they never wanted to keep it all to themselves. The couple was so intent on philanthropic work that they created the largest transparently operated private foundation in the world: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The aims of this foundation are simple: to globally enhance healthcare, reduce extreme poverty and to expand the educational opportunities of America’s youth, while providing access to information technology. As a co-founder and co-chair Melinda spends the majority of her time running this foundation and together, Bill and Melinda have personally donated more that $24 billion dollars to the foundation.

The list of awards and accolades Melinda Gates has received in recognition for her more than generous work is endless.

Ally | Elite.

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