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Duchess Meghan marks 40th birthday by launching mentorship initiative

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - OCTOBER 01: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex visits ActionAid during the royal tour of South Africa on October 01, 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

(CALIFORNIA) — For her 40th birthday, Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, launched a mentorship initiative for women re-entering the workforce after losing their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign — from the duchess’ nonprofit foundation, Archewell, which she founded with husband Prince Harry — is named 40×40 and is meant to encourage people around the world to give 40 minutes of their time to support women going back to work.

“In reflecting on my 40th birthday and the many things I am grateful for, I’m struck that time is among our greatest and most essential gifts: Time with our loved ones, time doing the things we love, time spent learning, laughing, growing, and the sacred time we have on this earth,” Meghan wrote. “Amongst the most valuable gifts of time is also time spent in service to others knowing that it can contribute to incredible change.”

“To that last point, and with my 40th lap around the sun in mind, it made me wonder: What would happen if we all committed 40 minutes to helping someone else or to mentoring someone in need?” she continued. “And then what would happen if we asked our friends to do the same?”

The duchess went on to note that “tens of millions of women around the world have left the workforce” due to COVID-19, “including over 2 million in the U.S.” She also noted that “the latest research shows that fewer women than men will regain work” as society rebounds from the pandemic.

“I believe mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength,” Meghan added.

“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,” she concluded.

Meghan asked 40 activists, athletes, artists and world leaders to join her in donating 40 minutes of mentorship. Among those who have agreed to participating include Adele, Amanda Gorman, Amanda Nguyen, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Gloria Steinem, José Andrés, Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau and Stella McCartney.

For more information on 40×40, including how you can get involved, visit the Archewell site.

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