On Tuesday, the Duchess of Sussex joined Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO and President of Ariel Investments, for a conversation titled "Minding the Gap" as part of The New York Times DealBook Online Summit, which is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Dealbook. Their discussion focused on how women can reach economic and professional parity.
Meghan was asked by host Andrew Ross Sorkin, Editor at Large, Columnist and Founder of DealBook The New York Times, about why it was important to her to reach out to senators in her efforts to get paid family leave for all Americans.
While she acknowledged that those in the royal family tend to stay non-partisan on political issues, she saw this as a "humanitarian issue."
"I think this is one of those issues that is not red or blue. We can all agree that people need support certainly when they've just had a child," the mother of two said. "Paid leave, from my standpoint, is just a humanitarian issue."
The 40-year-old former actress recalled living in both Canada and the United Kingdom, which have universal health care, and what it has been like returning to the United States and raising two children, 2-year-old Archie and 5-month old Lilibet.
"To come back and now be a mother of two and to see that the U.S. is one of only six countries in the entire world that doesn't offer any form of national paid leave just didn't make sense," she lamented.
While she's fought and stood by women and those in need since being married to Prince Harry, Meghan wanted to make it clear that she's been speaking out for the greater good long before she became a duchess.
"Even before I had any sort of privilege in my life -- when my life and my lifestyle were very, very different -- I always stood up for what was right," she noted.
"We can all agree that people need support, especially when they've had a child," said Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, at the #DealBook Online Summit. "Paid leave, from my point of view, is a humanitarian issue." https://t.co/mXcALFsbeS
Meghan further recalled how she sold homemade scrunchies when she was a young girl. "I remember the feeling of knowing that I had done something, I had invested in myself and done this labor and been compensated for it," she shared. "There's a sense of pride that comes from that."
The duchess added of women's ambition, "There's nothing wrong with talking about a woman's success or her ambition or her financial prowess."