Gender equality, women and financial power is something to embrace.

The news about Melinda and Bill Gates’ divorce has been in the news headlines. It is shocking and newsworthy given their public profile and the level of assets to split. But the most interesting thing to me is how Melinda Gates views wealth and gender equality.

There is no doubt that Melinda is a smart, capable and accomplished woman, both in her role as a mother/wife and as a philanthropist. Her philanthropic efforts and impact on the world are so impressive that Bill was not only inspired to join her, but she also earned the trust of Warren Buffet who then donated his own wealth to the Gates Foundation.

It is also interesting to know that even as one of the most powerful women, Melinda has to regularly negotiate equality in her marriage to Bill, get herself out of the shadows, and find her voice in a world that tends to place women in the constrained gender roles and responsibilities. She shares these insights and opinions in her book The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World.

Unfortunately, Bill and Melinda’s long-term marriage has come to an end. But I reason to believe that Melinda, soon to be a totally independent woman, will continue to shine and advocate for causes she cares about – one of which is gender equality. Divorce from Bill will not define her story.

Meanwhile, it warms my heart to know that MacKenzie Scott, after she divorced from Jeff Bezos, donated $4.2 billion to 384 charitable organizations during the Pandemic. She stepped up her game and became more active in using her wealth to help the underserved. It is also wonderful to see that she moved on and got remarried to a school teacher. You can read more about MacKenzie here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/12/15/business/mackenzie-scott-charity-donations-trnd/index.html

Melinda and MacKenzie provide great examples of how each of us in our own way can unleash the power of wealth to create something larger than ourselves, advocate for worthy causes, and leave a lasting legacy on the world.

It’s not the wealth or marriage that defines a woman; it is how she uses the transition and her wealth to fulfill her vision and her values, bringing her own unique inspirations to the world.

That is financial power from women!

And that is why Silver Oak feels so passionately about empowering women-in-transition to find their voice and create an even better chapter for their lives. We cannot deny the history but we can always choose how the story ends.

As Elizabeth Lesser wrote in her book Cassandra Speaks:

“Power is a natural force. It’s something we all want: the energy, the freedom, the authority to be who we are, to contribute, to create… There is a way to do power differently than the way we have come to define it.”