Igniting the Power of Women: Melinda Gates and SDG 5


Global Goal 5, gender equity, is both a purpose in itself and a vital accelerant to achieving all of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. “We’re trying to move past the gravitational forces, the barriers that hold women back,” explains Melinda Gates, philanthropist, author and mother of three. “Because if you can remove those barriers and help lift women up, they will lift up the world.”

In this special episode, Claudia Romo Edelman and Edie Lush share the How To Academy podcast in which journalist Hannah MacInnes interviews Melinda Gates in front of a live audience in London. For the last twenty years Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. One lesson she has learned is that to lift society up you have to stop keeping women down.

The How to Academy hosts leading artist and thinkers in London for public talks, debates and conferences. Selected talks are featured in the How to Aacedmy’s podcast series, available wherever you get your podcasts.

Featured guests

Melinda Gates

Melinda Gates is an American businesswoman and philanthropist who—with her husband, Microsoft Corporation co-founder Bill Gates—cofounded the charitable Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000. Gates has maintained her position as most powerful woman in philanthropy as co-chair of the Foundation, the world’s largest private charitable foundation. She’s increasingly visible in shaping foundation strategy, solving tough global challenges from education and poverty to contraception and sanitation. As part of the foundation’s mission to help all people lead healthy, productive lives, she has devoted much of her work to women’s and girls’ rights. She released her first book in 2019, titled The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World. Now, Gates’ mission is to close the funding gap for female founders, through her investment and incubation company, Pivotal Ventures.

Hannah MacInnes

Hannah MacInnes is a regular host and moderator for the How To Academy, chairing interviews, events and debates across a wide range of subjects and current issues. Before going Freelance she worked for over 7 years at BBC Newsnight, as Planning Editor and as a producer / filmmaker. Whilst there she secured a number of newsmaking interviews with leading figures, including former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Mikhail Gorbachev and a UK broadcast exclusive with Hillary Clinton, as well as with a range of cultural names from Helen Mirren to Benedict Cumberbatch. She writes for the Radio Times and moderates at other major literary events including Hay and Cheltenham Festivals. Hannah also writes print journalism and hosts the “#ACupOfTeaWith” monthly interview series and podcast with Good & Proper Tea, which gets authors as varied as William Boyd and Dolly Alderton discussing their new books over tea cocktails and crumpets. She enjoys running and swimming in her downtime, and is an advocate for the power of exercise for changing your mood. 

Special thank you to:


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