Meghan Markle Partners With Nonprofits for 40x40 Women Mentorship Initiative
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex founded The Archewell Foundation to uplift and unite communities, and its latest endeavor, 40x40, will work with three nonprofits with a history of helping women or mobilizing volunteers.
In celebration of Meghan Markle’s milestone birthday yesterday, she has pledged to give 40 minutes of her time to mentor women reentering the workforce and is asking her friends to do the same. For her 40x40 initiative, Markle also has teamed up with three partner nonprofit organizations — Smart Works, Young Women Choosing Action (YWCA), and L.A. Works.
Based in the United Kingdom, Smart Works has helped more than 18,000 women gain confidence for job interviews by offering work clothing and coaching over the course of its eight-year existence. YWCA has aimed to eliminate racism, empower women and strengthen communities nationwide, dating back to its founding during the women’s rights movement 160 years ago while L.A. Works mobilizes volunteers to tackle issues affecting the greater Los Angeles community.
TODAY, to celebrate the 40th birthday of #MeghanMarkle, The Duchess of Sussex, we’re asking women everywhere to contribute 40 minutes of mentorship to support women reentering the workforce. Will you join us? https://t.co/otpbg0WUnZ #40x40 #CompassionInAction #ArchewellFoundation pic.twitter.com/Nz3MpCUG4i
— YWCA USA (@YWCAUSA) August 4, 2021
The pandemic disproportionately affected the number of women in the workforce work. In the year since February 2020, more than 2.3 million women left the labor force in the U.S. compared with 1.8 million men, according to the National Women's Law Center. While the number of men returning to work this year globally is expected to push the the number of men in the workforce overall close to the 2019 quantity, according to the International Labour Organization, the number of women in the workforce will fall short of 2019 levels — with 13 million fewer women than pre-pandemic.
“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,” Markle said in the video. "Over two million women in the U.S. alone and tens of millions around the world have lost their jobs due to COVID, and 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.”
Comedic actress Melissa McCarthy also appeared via video conference to help Markle make the announcement on her 40th birthday yesterday.
Today is my friend Meghan’s 40th birthday (you know, The Duchess of Sussex!). She called to ask me to contribute 40 minutes of mentorship to support women reentering the workforce. I think it went...well? #40x40 #CompassionInAction pic.twitter.com/kVOrEaacnp
— Melissa McCarthy (@melissamccarthy) August 4, 2021
Together they have already started a movement, with Markle encouraging friends, activists, athletes, artists and world leaders to help her with the global effort. Committing to join her so far aside from McCarthy are Spanx founder Sara Blakely, singer Ciara, former first lady and politician Hillary Clinton, journalist Katie Couric, poet Amanda Gorman, California Surgeon General Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, actress Sarah Paulson and actress Gabrielle Union-Wade, among others.