Meghan Markle marked her milestone 40th birthday by launching the 40x40 initiative. The Duchess of Sussex teamed up with Hollywood actress Melissa McCarthy to discuss the initiative in a new video. “Here’s the idea, because I’m turning 40, I’m asking 40 friends to donate 40 minutes of their time to help mentor a woman who’s mobilizing back into the workforce,” the Suits alum said. “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.”
Prince Harry made a hilarious cameo during the pair’s video call. The Queen’s grandson could be seen juggling outside of Meghan’s window in the bloopers at the end.
The 40x40 initiative was announced on Meghan’s birthday, Aug. 4. The Sussexes’ Archewell website noted that the Duchess believes mentorship is one of many important ways to support women reentering the workforce. “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,” a message from the Duchess reads on the site.
Lilibet Diana’s mother added, “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? And then what would happen if we asked our friends to do the same?”
Meghan went on to explain that in the past two years “tens of millions of women around the world have left the workforce.” “So many of these women are also SHOULDERING THE BRUNT OF THE CRISIS when it comes to unpaid labor, including schooling and caring for family members. And the latest research shows that FEWER WOMEN THAN MEN WILL REGAIN WORK as we recover from the pandemic,” she said.
“I believe mentorship is one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength, and for my birthday, I have asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists, and world leaders to help kickoff a global effort by contributing 40 MINUTES OF MENTORSHIP to support women re-entering the workforce,” Meghan continued. “With this time, I hope they each help someone advance a professional life on her own terms, and, I hope that they inspire countless others to give 40 minutes of their time as well.”
The Duchess encouraged others to pledge “40 minutes today in service of others in the way that feels right to you.” She said, “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.”