The Duchess of Sussex started the 40×40 initiative as part of a video for her 40th birthday on Wednesday. The video posted on the Archewell Foundation website was filmed with her Hollywood sidekick Melissa McCarthy.
The aim of the initiative is to give 40 minutes to a woman returning to work.
In the video, Meghan said: “For my birthday, I asked 40 friends, activists, athletes, artists and world leaders to start a global effort with 40 MINUTES MENTORSHIP to help women get back into work.
“I hope that with this time you will each help someone advance a professional life on their own terms, and I hope that you will inspire countless others to also devote 40 minutes to their time.”
Apprentice star Karren Brady praised Meghan’s work as a “great cause”.
Ms. Brady said, “This is a great thing as over two million women in the US and tens of millions around the world have lost their jobs during the pandemic.
“Whatever you think of Meghan, this is such a positive way of celebrating 40 – by inviting women to help other women back at work.”
Princess Eugenie accepted Meghan’s challenge and wrote in her Instagram story:
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton encouraged her Instagram followers to join the project.
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An Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum, polling 12,500 workers in 29 countries, found that the majority of respondents wanted flexible working to become the norm.
It found that support for more flexibility was strongest among women, with 68 percent of the women surveyed asking for flexible work options.
66 percent of women also stated that they were “more productive” with flexible working hours.
Finally, 38 percent of women surveyed admitted that they “found it difficult” to be productive when working from home.