Meghan drafts Steph and Ayesha Curry, Sheryl Sandberg for her star-studded 40X40 mentorship campaign – Silicon Valley

Steph and Ayesha Curry, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are among the 40 well-known public figures tapped by Meghan Markle to help her launch a global effort to mentor women who lost jobs and career opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ayesha Curry is joined by husband Stephen Curry as she prepares a chicken and waffles recipe on stage during a cooking demonstration at the BottleRock Napa Valley music festival in Napa, Calif., on Thursday, May 25, 2017. (Anda Chu/Staff Archives)

The Bay Area luminaries are among the activists, artists, and sports, business and political leaders designated by the Duchess of Sussex to contribute 40 minutes of their time to mentor a woman trying to re-enter the workforce.

Steph and Ayesha Curry each shared news about their participation on social media, while the Daily Mail reported that the 40 also include Sandberg, as well as Hillary Clinton, Adele, Ciara, Stacey Abrams, Katie Couric and Melissa McCarthy.

Meghan announced her 40X40 campaign Wednesday as a way to celebrate her 40th birthday. The wife of Prince Harry and ex-full-time member of the British royal family shared the news in a humorous video chat with McCarthy, which was recorded at her Montecito mansion. Others tapped for the effort include Gloria Steinem, Priyanka Chopra, Gabrielle Union, Amanda Gorman and fashion designer Misha Nonoo.

Meghan celebrated her 40th birthday with a light-hearted video and an appeal for people to mentor women trying to get back into the work force #40×40

— Reuters (@Reuters) August 5, 2021

For her participation, Ayesha Curry wrote on Instagram: “Today I am so excited to support Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, on her 40th birthday by donating 40 minutes of service by supporting women disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you can, please join me and commit 40 minutes to community service or mentorship. Together, we can contribute to a global wave of compassion and positive change!”

Steph Curry also wished the U.S.-born duchess happy birthday Wednesday, with the Golden State Warriors star tweeting that he, too, would help with the campaign, “honoring those women who give everything.”

Happy BDay to Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex! To celebrate her 40th birthday, join @ayeshacurry and me in dedicating 40 minutes of your time to mentoring and community service, honoring those women who give everything ?? #40×40 #CompassionInAction

— Stephen Curry (@StephenCurry30) August 5, 2021

In her video and on her Archewell Foundation’s website, Meghan talked about the millions of U.S. women who left the workforce during the pandemic, mostly to look after children and oversee their online classwork as schools were forced to close during shelter in place. Meghan said that women “shouldered the brunt of the crisis,” and explained that research shows that “fewer women will regain work as we recover from the pandemic.”

Meghan, who left royal life and moved to California with Harry last year, said just 40 minutes of one’s time can make a difference. She also spoke about how mentorship is “one way to help women regain confidence and rebuild their economic strength.”

Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook. (Bloomberg photo by Andrew Harrer)

The Daily Mail reported that a full list of all 40 participants had not been released, but more than 20 had eagerly shared their participation on social media. The Daily Mail also said that Meghan and Archewell have not made it clear whether there is any formal structure for the campaign and whether there will be anyway to measure its success.

The foundation only said that anyone can participate by going on its website and sharing how they’ve mentored someone or devoted themselves to another cause they care about.

Sandberg has not shared news about her participation on Facebook, but the Daily Mail said Meghan probably was eager to draft her because the Silicon Valley luminary has long been an inspiration, because of her best-selling book, “Lean In.”

Maghan, a former TV actress, read “Lean In” while working on the legal drama “Suits,” saying it helped inform her character, paralegal-turned attorney Rachel Zane. The duchess and Sandberg also both spoke at the Girl Up Leadership Summit last year.

Sandberg has long been seen as one of America’s most prominent women in business and was often ubiquitous in the media, speaking on leadership, and work and life issues. However, her reputation took a hit in recent years after Facebook had to apologize for its role in the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal and was accused of not doing enough to stem the spread of disinformation and extremism on its platform.

Quartz reported that questions remain about how much Sandberg is responsible for Facebook’s problems. Nonetheless, Sandberg continues in her job at Facebook and still speaks at conferences and in media interviews, notably about how the pandemic has affected women in the workplace.

In October, Sandberg’s Lean In Foundation released results of a study that found that 1 in 4 women has considered scaling back her career or leaving the workforce altogether. Sandberg told NPR in October that COVID-19 “threatens to roll back the progress we have painstakingly made over the last five to 10 years for women in the workplace.”