The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World
In her book, “The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World,” Melinda Gates traverses the globe highlighting the lives of women in the past and at present, in developing countries and in the U.S. She notes how giving them a voice – or hearing their voices – and making societal changes that improve their standing can make a big difference for them and for their families.
Gates’ lens on the world comes from her own roles. She is daughter, wife, mother and, previously, an employee in the male-dominated technology field, specifically at Microsoft. Now, she’s at the helm of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The foundation supports initiatives that improve health, provide educational opportunities and transition people out of poverty.
She devotes different chapters to the issues that affect women – from access to contraception to the costs of unpaid labor. Other sections focus on maternal health, child marriage, gender bias in farming and women in the workplace.
The book is filled with fascinating stories she’s gathered through her work, including one set in Uttar Pradesh, India, in which skin-to-skin contact helped to warm the temperature of a newborn and save his life. She highlights how educating communities is improving infant mortality rates in some developing areas.
Possibly one of the most insightful sections for American women is about the lack of women working in the tech field especially in coding for artificial intelligence. That technology, of course, could be a key part of our future lives and workplaces. Women receive only about 18 percent of computer science degrees awarded today. This is notably a sharp drop from when Gates herself was graduating with that degree in the late 1980s. How will that affect women and equality in our future? Who knows. But it’s important to consider.