With the announcement of the Bill and Melinda Gates split, we discussed on Grit Daily what impact that could have on the startup projects that they’d put their value behind and their work with the numerous charitable foundations they head. But let’s shine a bit of light on a different, younger member of their family — their eldest daughter, Jennifer Gates.
The 25-year-old Gates may not be a billionaire tech genius like her father, or a philanthropic trailblazer like her mother. But she’s managed to chart out a path of her own that showcases how much of her parents’ influence has actually remained.
Gates has remained mostly under the radar for those who are scouting for news about her life in the major entrepreneurial world, aside from interviews or snippets here and there. She grew up in the Gates family with her two younger siblings, Rory and Phoebe, and lived a relatively normal life. Despite her father’s background, none of the kids were even allowed to have phones till they were 14 years old.
She grew up in a household where her parents would constantly bring their work home, especially their conversations around public health. “I grew up hearing about children’s mortality at the dinner table, about polio, about the HIV/AIDS epidemic,” she told Sidelines Magazine in an interview.
That and an influential childhood pediatrician inspired her to take up her parents’ mission of helping the world through medicine. She went on to attend Stanford University, graduating in 2018 with a degree in human biology, and is currently enrolled in Mount Sinai’s Icahn School of Medicine.
Where you’ll really see much more of Gates is if you start diving into the equestrian sphere. According to Business Insider, she started riding at the age of six and has since become an accomplished equestrian. After graduating from Stanford, she even took a year off to pursue it professionally.
Of course, a lot of the support for her career in this field did come from her parents, but she was able to engineer her own success. Beyond competing in several high-profile events, Gates was able to create a stable of her own, Evergate Stables, an international show jumping stable. The stable also houses the Paris Panthers, an international team that Gates manages and has performed at the Global Champions League.
As an equestrian and future medical professional, she understands that the place she comes from necessitates her using her opportunity and power to help others, the way her parents have done. “I was born into a huge situation of privilege,” she told Sidelines, “and I think it’s about using those opportunities and learning from them to find things that I’m passionate about and hopefully make the world a little bit of a better place.”
The spirit of an entrepreneur is in their ability to engineer their own path and forge a future ahead that allows them to perfect a niche. And by being able to do just that, Jennifer Gates showcases the same qualities that seemingly run in the Gates blood.