The Moment of Lift

The Moment of Lift

How Empowering Women Changes the World

Book - 2019
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A timely call to action for women's empowerment by the influential co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation identifies the link between women's equality and societal health, sharing uplifting insights by international advocates in the fight against gender bias. --Publisher
Publisher: New York : Flatiron Books, 2019
Edition: First U.S. edition
ISBN: 9781250313577
Branch Call Number: 305.42 G2235M 2019
Characteristics: viii, 273 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

In her debut, Melinda Gates shares stories of inspiring people she has met through her years of work. Melinda Gates was a SAL speaker in May, 2019.

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Mar 27, 2020

A great book! A very well-written book, written in a coherent and understandable manner. This book resonated with me on a personal note as a person from a developing country.
The author is passionate about women empowerment, especially in places where women aren’t considered people. Gender equality is important because all lives are equal, as the author’s research and personal anecdotes suggest. The idea of ‘lift’ is powerful – in women, in children, and in educating everyone involved. I would highly recommend this book.

Jan 19, 2020

Phenomenal book. Perfect balance of personal anecdotes, research, and call to action. Melinda lays out her arguments in a very clear and evidence-based manner. Highly recommend.

Jan 04, 2020

Amazon Bookstore in UVillage Date with Sam over Christmas

Dec 28, 2019

Wow! Melinda Gates has written a very personal and inspiring book in which she examines how women around the world can be given "the moment of lift," when they learn to fly, in the metaphorical sense. Her view is that these women and many other people around the world have been made outsiders and that our goal should be to create a culture in which there is little or no urge to create outsiders. In particular, in addition to addressing the "Me Too" movement in the US, she speaks about women in Africa and India who live in societies in which women are not allowed "to fly" and what the Gates Foundation is doing to remedy this problem, which sometimes bears no resemblance to what they originally thought they should be doing. Buy-in by the locals, she writes, is absolutely essential, a principle that recent conservation efforts have also employed. The real life examples she uses are incredibly moving. Although she is a devout Catholic, she courageously champions contraceptives as a way to save lives and to make lives healthier and more fulfilling. She also writes candidly about her relationship with her husband, Bill, and how they have worked, and continue to work, together to make sure that their relationship is an equal partnership. All in all, a great read!

Dec 20, 2019

I wish you would make it clearer that my request is accepted and ask where I'd like to pick it up, as of old.

Sep 30, 2019

Great book! Quotable!

Aug 26, 2019

So glad Melinda Gates shared many of her life lessons as well as opening my eyes and heart to the many people of the world who suffer and die simply because they are "invisible" to many people.
The stories she shares are heart-breaking and inspiring, especially when people choose to lead with their hearts.
May we all be good neighbors to not just women and children but also to anyone who feels left out and powerless to make a difference.

Aug 10, 2019

This book was amazing & inspiring. Melinda Gates is a fantastic writer. Her insights & her ability to learn & LISTEN from those she is trying to help around the world is fantastic. It just shows you that when you reach down inside of yourself, & are open to helping others, first you must be able to recognize where the other people are coming from, put yourself in their shoes, & then try to find commonalities in which to help others. This book was awesome. The Gates Foundation is certainly on the right path in which to help those many people who are on the outside & make sure they are included. Their foundation's money is going for truly altruistic motives! They are to be commended!

Jul 28, 2019

I will admit I came to this book with some skepticism. Ever since I read Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World, by Anand Giridharadas, I have had a more negative view of rich people who are spending their money to solve other people’s problems. Just because they are rich does not mean they know more than other people, and often they know a lot less because their money has insulated them from the problems most regular people have.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Melinda Gates does not pretend that she knows it all; in fact, she tells many stories of the people around the world from whom she has learned so much. I was pleased that she has listened carefully and thoughtfully to people who know more than she does about so many problems because they live with them. (And she has actually met with these people face to face, even living in their homes for a time. She believes in face to face conversations!) She writes about maternal and newborn health, family planning, girls in schools, unpaid work, child marriage, women in agriculture (and gender bias everywhere), and women in the workplace. She makes a very strong case for women and for gender equity.

She mentions more than once that the US is the one of very few countries in the whole world, and the only wealthy country, that does not mandate paid maternity leave and paternity leave. How backward we are!

She also describes in quite a lot of detail her own personal journey, whether as a Catholic who strongly favors making birth control available to anyone who wants it, or as a woman in the tech industry, or as a partner with her powerful husband in running their foundation.

Melinda writes, “Every society says its outsiders are the problem. But the outsiders are not the problem; the urge to create outsiders is the problem. Overcoming that urge is our greatest challenge and our greatest promise. It will take courage and insight, because the people we push to the margins are the ones who trigger in us the feelings we’re afraid of.”

We are seeing this every day in our news; our country’s leaders are constantly demonizing “outsiders”. How do we turn things around?

Everyone wants to have something to offer, something to contribute. It is how we feel included. If we want to include everyone, we have to help everyone develop their talents and use their gifts for the benefit of the community.

This part of her book reminded me of Father Gregory Boyle of Homeboy Industries, who wrote Tattoos on the Heart, and Barking to the Choir. I especially loved Barking to the Choir: The Power of Radical Kinship. If you have not read it, I highly recommend it.

The Moment of Lift is personal, readable and powerful. I felt like Melinda Gates was telling this story just to me. It is moving, and it is also compelling. Women can accomplish anything if they have confidence in themselves and each other!

Jul 14, 2019

Some of the stories in this book surprise and delight me with the science and deep research required and others delight with the emotional courage. Dare to give this book to your 14-year-old daughter. Ask her what "social geography of poverty" means. Gates pries open the inner workings of the philanthropic engine to reveal some ugly misunderstandings that prevented help from reaching the right audiences. You cannot separate health from disrespect and violence against women.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SPL

To Top