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Melinda Gates is on a new mission: to fix the gender balance in tech

Big-time philanthropist and Bill Gates‘s wife Melinda Gates is turning her focus to connecting female STEM graduates to tech jobs. The reason she’s forming a new office dedicated to the effort, according to her conversation with Backchannel, is because she realized how far behind the U.S. is in terms of gender equality.

“I look at the representation of women in Congress — less than 20 percent. Some countries I go to in Africa have [representation as high as] 47 percent,” Gates said during the interview. While she acknowledges that increasing the visibility of women in tech is crucial to keeping them in the field, she thinks the real key to fixing the problem, like so many of her other philanthropic efforts, is putting raw numbers in front of governments and organizations: “Data. Data, data, data.”

 [Photo: Todd Williamson/Getty Images for The Hollywood Reporter]RR