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Time is a Gift

40x40

A special message from Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, on her 40th birthday.

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Illustration of 40x40

The Opportunity

What if we each gave 40 minutes of service?

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. 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?

In the past two years, and in large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic, TENS OF MILLIONS OF women around the world have left the workforce, including over two million women in the U.S. 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.

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. 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.

If you are able, please JOIN US and pledge 40 minutes today in service of others in the way that feels right to you. 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.

Signature saying Meghan

Be a Part of 40x40

1.

Share the message

Let’s spread the 40x40 message and help unleash a wave of mentorship and service.

2.

How Will You Commit Your Time?

You can do so much with 40 minutes! Whether it’s mentorship or giving back to another issue you care about, tell us about how you’ll devote your time.

How We’re Spending 40 Minutes

Why Mentorship?

The Duchess of Sussex believes that mentorship is one of many important ways to support women reentering the workforce.

A mentorship relationship can take on many forms, but ultimately works to motivate, inspire, and support a mentee; helping her with the confidence and practical tools she needs to achieve a professional goal. Many mentorship organizations offer opportunities to sign up and get involved, including three partners of 40x40: Smart Works, YWCA, and L.A. Works.

Join the work we’re doing through 40x40.

Get Involved

Mentorship can take many forms, but ultimately, a mentor is a person interested in helping someone else with a career or a life goal. They offer support by making themselves available to listen, share their experience, give advice, advocate for their mentee, and connect them with people and resources.

A mentor can help see the larger picture. In the midst of working towards a goal, it can be difficult to identify smaller steps, strategic decisions, or areas where a different approach might be necessary. A mentor can offer that perspective, as well as provide the encouragement and guidance a mentee needs to keep moving forward. Mentorship helps shape the larger course of a career.

There are many organizations dedicated to mentorship, including a number that The Duke and Duchess work with such as Smart Works, YWCA, and L.A. Works. Other organizations, like companies, non-profits, schools, or sports teams also often have opportunities for mentorship. You can also look within your community. A mentor relationship can begin when time is offered to a neighbor, colleague, teammate or friend.

You can reach out to an organization with a mission of matching mentors and mentees, like the U.K.’s Smart Works, which specializes in helping women apply for jobs. Or, take a look at those in your personal and professional network who might be willing to share their experience. It’s also important to consider people beyond your immediate circle. Who is doing something that you aspire to do? Would they be willing to share their experience with you?

  • Work with your mentee to identify their goals. Write them down, so you can return and measure progress.
  • Establish trust by using an open and nonjudgmental tone. Listen before you give advice, and provide constructive criticism that identifies areas of improvement, while pointing out strengths.
  • Make the process collaborative. Once you’ve identified challenges, brainstorm strategies together.
  • Share real life stories. Lessons from your own experience might be applicable to a problem a mentee is trying to solve.
  • Develop your mentee’s network by introducing them to yours. Expand your mentee’s opportunities by introducing them to people, resources, and professional organizations.

40x40 at Work

I am committing to creating a webinar, devoted to women re-entering the workforce. Kailei,
Atlanta
As a Makeup artist, I know that when we look our best, we feel our best. I am committing to mentoring 40 women to help them get that glow as they step into the new phase of their lives. Anandi,
Serbia
I will be tutoring Afrikaans and English to girls at a local children's home here in Cape Town. Emile,
Cape Town
I am the proud Mom of an adult child with dyslexia, speech-language pathologist, advocate, tutor and mentor. I am currently writing a book in which I share strategies for successful dyslexia support. I will commit to completing the book in 40 days! Heather,
Minneapolis
I am so excited to be a part of this movement. I have just stepped into running my own online coaching business, empowering women to find their passion so they can live their purpose. I am donating 40 mins to support a women finding her passion. Mistral,
London
After I saw the 40x40 message, I went by my elderly neighbor and asked if I could do anything for him. He said could I go to the shop for him. He was so happy that I did this for him and it also made me so happy. Shirnette,
Anguilla
I am willing to mentor anyone interested in STEM fields, including academia, medicine, or dentistry. Mina,
Boston
As someone who has been a social worker and an educator for the past 30 years, I would love to mentor someone who is interested in considering a career in social work, human services, or education. It would be such an honor. Dana,
Sherborn
I can teach anyone how to program in Java, JavaScript, or create a website. John,
San Diego
I am a female solo entrepreneur who has run my own company for 11 years now. I can help encourage other women on how to find their way in leadership and starting a business. Sarah,
Montana

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