Culture and values

We believe that energized people, working well together, fueled by great leadership, in an environment in which they thrive, will do phenomenal things. We also believe our employees should reflect the rich diversity of the global populations we aim to serve—in race, ethnicity, gender, age, cultures, and beliefs—and we support this diversity through all of our employment practices.

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At the Gates Foundation, we are guided by five core values

  • Optimism. We are impatient optimists by nature: we see the glass as half full and are motivated to confront problems that others consider impossible to solve.

  • Collaboration. We recognize that our resources and abilities are only a small part of what is needed to achieve our goals and that our impact is greater when we work with others.

  • Rigor. We pursue our mission with focus, discipline, and rigor to maximize our impact.

  • Innovation. We believe that many of the most intractable problems can be solved only through creative and innovative solutions.

  • Inclusion. We define inclusion as an environment that actively welcomes, connects, and values all, while harming none.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion

To fulfill our vision of helping all people—including our employees—lead healthy, productive lives, we are committed to:

  • Representing and accepting all forms of visible and invisible difference

  • Fostering a sense of belonging and respect and valuing and seeing people for who they are as individuals

  • Upholding fairness in creating opportunities for all people to have equal access to development, resources, and pay

Read our DEI Commitment Statement


Shared expectations and accountability

Everyone at the foundation is responsible for making this a great place to work. Our foundation culture affects what we are able to achieve in the world, what we do, and how we do it, both with our colleagues internally and our external partners. We want every employee to feel a sense of belonging and contribute at their highest potential. Our shared expectations and accountability as employees, managers, and leaders are reflected in our Code of Conduct and our Conflict of Interest Policy.


Community involvement

While we work globally, we recognize the value of our employees taking action in their own communities. Our Foundation Cares program helps our employees connect with local organizations and find ways to contribute as volunteers, board members, or guest speakers.

We offer a 3:1 match for employee charitable giving and volunteering, including board service. Our community grants, grantee site visits, speakers bureau, and events throughout the year offer our employees many opportunities to develop relationships with organizations working on issues they personally care about.