208 Years.  At the current pace of change, it will take 208 years to reach gender equality in the U.S.

As one of the 10 finalists in the Equality Can’t Wait national challenge, Girls Inc. thinks this is too long.

Meet the Equality Can’t Wait Finalists – https://www.equalitycantwaitchallenge.org/results

Equality Can’t Wait is an initiative launched by Pivotal Ventures, Melinda Gates’ investment and incubation company to accelerate progress toward gender equality in the U.S.  The initiative gained additional support from MacKenzie Scott and The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and will award $40 million to the organizations or coalitions of organizations with the most compelling proposals to help expand women’s power and influence in the U.S. by 2030.

“The data is clear that empowered women transform societies. Yet there is nowhere on earth where women have achieved true equality, even here at home. In 2019, the World Economic Forum projected that equality in the United States is still another 208 years away.” Melinda Gates

In the summer of 2021, the Challenge will grant three $10 million awards, with an additional 10 million to be allocated among finalists.  Girls Inc. is in the top ten out of more than 550 proposals from nearly every state in the country.

Girls Inc.’s Project Accelerate reduces the gender gap by extending a comprehensive continuum of leadership programs to young women beyond high school. By scaling and sustaining the Girls Inc. connection through college and career entry, their career trajectories (with emphasis on STEM careers) are bolstered by our partnerships with post-secondary institutions to ensure graduation and pairing young women with influential, supportive corporate advocates. Then, they pay it forward, exponentially expanding Project Accelerate’s future reach. Expected outcomes include young women graduating on-time; increasing networks of influence for marginalized populations of girls; and job-placement in well-compensated, influential positions. This solution primes young women to hold seats at predominant tables, contributing their voices in spaces where women are continually underrepresented. The scalability of the model is key. With 78 Girls Inc. affiliates across the U.S. and Canada and growing, Project Accelerate aims to lift 7,500 diverse women into corporate positions of power and influence, shifting the equity landscape for generations.

#EqualityCantWait because every woman deserves a seat at the table!  -Former First Lady Michelle Obama

#EqualityCantWait 208 years?!  Let’s shorten this timeline! -Reese Witherspoon

“208 years is a daunting number—but it’s not destiny.  The projection is based on the assumption that the pace of change will remain constant.  That’s why we need to act now to accelerate progress for women in the U.S. and ensure that we see gender equality in our lifetimes.”  Melinda Gates