The Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle announced a new mentorship initiative called 40x40 on her 40th birthday on Aug. 4.
40x40 is part of Markle and husband Prince Harry's Archewell Foundation, which supports organizations fuelling systemic cultural change, and calls on professionals to dedicate 40 minutes of their time to mentor women re-entering the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Markle announced the program in a short video with fellow actress Melissa McCarthy on the Archewell Foundation's website. She explained that she’s calling on 40 friends to give 40 minutes of their time to help unemployed women in the United States and around the world find new jobs.
Among some of Markle's friends that she's enlisted are Adele, José Andrés, Deepak Chopra, Amanda Gorman, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Stella McCartney, Amanda Nguyen, Gloria Steinem, Hillary Clinton and Sophie Grégoire Trudeau.
"Because I’m turning 40, I’m asking 40 friends to donate 40 minutes of their time to help mentor a woman who is mobilizing back into the workforce," she said in a short . "Over two million women in the U.S. alone, and tens of millions around the world, have lost their jobs due to COVID. I think if we all do it and all commit 40 minutes to some sort of act of service, we can create a ripple effect."
Actress Priyanka Chopra also voiced her support for 40x40, writing in an Instagram post that “the Duchess of Sussex has asked 40 of her friends to take 40 minutes to support women getting back into the workforce … Of course I was more than happy to join. Now that’s a great way to celebrate a milestone Birthday. Bravo, my friend. You can all join in too. If you are able, donate time to mentoring, community service or any act or service that you can and maybe we can all collectively contribute to a global wave of compassion.”
Markle hopes that people will take a more active role in supporting the return of women to the workforce.
“If you are able, please JOIN US and pledge 40 minutes today in service of others in the way that feels right to you. The time that you donate can contribute to a GLOBAL WAVE OF SERVICE and set in motion meaningful impact in our own communities, and across the world,” Markle wrote on the Archewell Foundation’s website.