“Even though the American workforce has evolved dramatically over the course of my lifetime, the American workplace has not caught up to that.”
Empowering philanthropist and Co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Melinda Gates, looks at the transformed American workforce compared to the unchanged American workplace and discusses with a panel of leading industry women the way new technologies, new business models, and new social movements are redefining what it means to go to work during her Interactive Keynote at the 2018 SXSW Conference.
The core of Gates’ work is empowering women and girls to realize their full potential and grow to be powerful voices in the world. During the Keynote, Gates tells the story of her experience being a young woman in the tech industry feeling like she doesn’t fit in and facing the challenges of the aggressive, combative culture of the workplace that is being cultivated from the start. Her story is the same story of many women and people of color across all industries. The diverse modern workforce faces many barriers and biases that stem from the unchanged workplace lead by people who “still assume that talent looks exactly like one thing and comes from one place.”
“Young people, especially women and people of color enter the workforce. They’re so eager to have their talents on display, to use all this knowledge of everything they’ve learned, to have their ideas finally taken hold, but all of a sudden they bump up against these barrier and these biases and that starts to make them question whether in fact they belong.”
Later in the Keynote, Gates brings three women on stage who are changing the status quo of their workplaces and leading their industries towards a future that is inclusive and welcoming for all. Joanna Coles, Chief Content Officer at Hearst Magazines, Nina Shaw, founding Partner of TIME’S UP, and Stacy Brown-Philpot, CEO of TaskRabbit, join Melinda Gates in discussion about the conversations that need to take place, bringing women and people of color to join these conversations, and investing in young leaders’ ideas while also empowering them to be resilient and create change in the workplace.
“We all have to take it upon ourselves to change the cultures we are involved in.”
Watch the entire 2018 SXSW Conference Interactive Keynote with Melinda Gates followed by an audience Q&A and learn how you can transform your workplace to foster a culture of support and mentor the diverse leaders of tomorrow.
Get inspired by a multitude of diverse visionaries at SXSW – browse more 2018 Keynotes, Featured Sessions, Red Carpets, and Q&A’s on our YouTube Channel.
2018 SXSW Keynote Melinda Gates– Photo by Dave Pedley/Getty Images