LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Britain’s Duchess Meghan celebrated her 40th birthday on Wednesday with a light-hearted video and an appeal for people to mentor women trying to get back into the work force.
Meghan, the wife of Prince Harry, teamed up with “Bridesmaids” actress Melissa McCarthy for the tongue-in-cheek video to launch her “40×40” initiative.
The two joke about marking her milestone birthday by holding a cast reunion of the duchess’s former TV series “Suits, getting matching tattoos or partying on yacht.
Meghan, however, announces she is asking 40 friends to mentor a woman for 40 minutes, and encourages others to do the same.
Meghan, formally known as the Duchess of Sussex, said in a message on the couple’s Archewell Foundation website that she sees mentorship as a way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength.
“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,” she said.
Meghan said millions of women around the world left or lost their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic, and many shouldered the responsibility of child care, caring for relatives and home schooling.
Meghan has made women’s empowerment a key part of her platform before and after she and Harry quit the royal family and moved to California last year to live independently.
Last month she announced she had teamed up with Netflix to produce an animated family series about the adventures of a 12 -year old girl who is inspired by influential women from history.
(Reporting by Jill Serjeant)