Meghan Markle is celebrating her 40th birthday with a new charitable initiative.

The Duchess of Sussex is launching 40 x 40 on Wednesday, which is a global effort that supports women going back to work. The initiative was launched in response to the record number of women leaving the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Markle is teaming with several celebrities and public figures for the initiative, including Melissa McCarthy, Amanda Gorman, Gloria Steinem, Stella McCartney, José Andrés, Adele, Deepak Chopra and others. The figures are committing 40 minutes of their time to mentor a woman in their community who is going back to work.

A post shared by Melissa McCarthy (@melissamccarthy)

“Because I’m turning 40, I’m asking 40 friends to donate 40 minutes of their time to help mentor a woman that’s mobilizing back into the workforce,” Markle said in a video with McCarthy that promotes the initiative. “Over two million women in the U.S. alone and tens of millions around the world have lost their jobs due to COVID-19, and I think if we all do it and all commit 40 minutes to some sort of active service, we can create a ripple effect.”

The 40 x 40 initiative is part of Markle and Prince Harry’s Archewell charitable organization, which the royal couple launched after stepping back from their royal duties last year. Since its creation, Archewell has supported projects and organizations like the Center for Human Technology, The Loveland Foundation and World Central Kitchen.

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