Billion-with-a-B

A BA Woman

BA Women's Words

October 16, 2019

Each week a BA Woman contributes to our BA Women's Words—a bloglette posted on Friday mornings where we tackle gendered issues to advance the educational, personal, and professional development of women who seek to make a difference in the world. 

Read on for EmpowHERing words by confident women living dynamic, complex lives. Have something to explore, share, declare, or celebrate with us?
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Last week, over a 24-hour period, I got about two dozen emails forwarded to me all about one thing: Melinda Gates’ pledge to invest $1 billion to promote gender equity.

My first reaction: Billion…. with a B? What does that even mean?!

My second reaction: Oh Hell Yes.

This big and bold commitment is more of the much needed Good Stuff: investing in dismantling the barriers to women’s professional advancement and fast-tracking women in sectors with outsized impact on our society. What’s more is that Melinda’s billion-with-a-B commitment is also a call to action to other philanthropists and change makers to take bold, decisive action. It’s a call to action.

So my third reaction: What’s my version of Melinda Gates’ decisive action for good?

At first, I was discouraged. I don’t have a billion-with-a-B or a million-with-an-M. And if we’re really keeping it real, I also don’t have a thousand-with-a-T. I’m a woman with drive and hustle, for sure… but I’ve also got a whole set of obligations and circumstances that mean I don’t have a great pile of extra cash lying around.

I’m not Melinda Gates. But then, I realized, I could see myself in her. Melinda is a BA woman: she, like me, wants to make a difference in the world and is using her platform and resources to do just that. She’s investing in women. In this movement. In this moment.

And so can I. I’m not a bazillionaire. But I have a network and a platform, too, in the little slice of the world that I go through each day. We all have some resources we can mobilize just a little bit more for the Good Stuff.

Inspired by Melinda’s overwhelming commitment, I just donated a ticket to the Alliance’s Breaking Barriers event; so a young professional who can’t afford it is able to be inspired like I’ve been. Taking small steps such as these every day is what moves our needle of progress forward (a sentiment Gates shares in her Time Magazine piece announcing her investment).

So here’s to Melinda, to BA Women, and to all of us, for mobilizing to scale and putting ourselves out there in the fight for the Good Stuff.

With my hundred-with-an-H,

A BA Woman

A BA Woman is a member of our community who has a perspective to share, ideas to spread, and words worth hearing. She's tenacious, compassionate, and lifts as she climbs. She's totally BA. She could be anyone—her words are relatable because she gets us like no one else.

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