How We're Building Women's Political Power

A sheet of paper that reads "How to succeed in office" sits on top of a stack of folders.

Women are underrepresented at every level of politics. Our founder, Melinda French Gates, wants to help change that. We recently partnered with Cosmopolitan to highlight the barriers to women’s political power—and the promising solutions that are leveling the playing field.

Our Vision

We’re backing innovative efforts that help more women—especially women of color—run for office, win elections, and lead at all levels of government. We believe that when women succeed in elected office, all of society benefits. Most American women believe that, too.


of American women say it would have a positive impact if more women were in elected office.


of American women think it's challenging for women in local elected office to be successful at their jobs.


of American women say it’s important for their own life that women can succeed across all levels of elected office.

"If you help get one leader elected, they go to the state capitol and become one more voice for the systemic changes you want to see. Democracy is always happening at a scale that anyone can engage in."

Melinda French Gates smiling.
Melinda French Gates
Philanthropist and Founder, Pivotal

Our Partners

We work with leaders and organizations that share our vision of strengthening our democracy by getting more women in public office—and dismantling the barriers that stand in their way.

  • Center for American Women and Politics

    Founded in 1971 at Rutgers University, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) is the leading source of data and research on women’s political participation in the United States. CAWP seeks to highlight and expand women’s influence in politics.

    Center for American Women and Politics
  • Higher Heights

    Higher Heights for America seeks to be the “political home for Black women” and is the only national organization exclusively dedicated to supporting and increasing Black women’s elected representation and civic participation at the local, state, and national levels.

    Higher Heights
  • New American Leaders

    New American Leaders (NAL) is the only national, nonpartisan organization dedicated to supporting first- and second-generation Americans, or “New Americans,” in their civic leadership journey. NAL is focused on uplifting the perspectives of our country’s newest members.

    New American Leaders
  • States United Democracy Center

    Founded in 2020, the States United Democracy Center (SUDC) is a women-led nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting free, fair, and secure elections. It helps support election officials, prevent political violence, defend voting rights, and fight disinformation.

    States United Democracy Center
  • The Pipeline Fund

    The Pipeline Fund is focused on building a pipeline of progressive candidates at the state level. It backs organizations that recruit, train, and support diverse leaders in key states, and supports those organizations with data, tools, and other resources.

    The Pipeline Fund
  • Vote Run Lead

    Vote Run Lead is working to build a more equitable democracy by increasing women’s representation across all levels of government. It recruits and trains women to run for office and win, with a particular focus on building majorities for women in state legislatures.

    Vote Run Lead