Meghan Markle says paid leave ‘isn’t just about mom’

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, hit the phones, calling on members of Congress to get support for paid family leave in the United States.

“I just got the phone number, I’m calling and having a conversation,” she told Andrew Ross Sorkin at the DealBook Online Summit on Tuesday. “People are quite surprised, I think. “

Meghan’s awareness comes as Democrats debated whether to include paid time off in a sweeping bill. The United States is the only wealthy country that does not have paid maternity leave. The administration met with business leaders to stress the importance of paid family leave to the economy, with the share of women working for pay at its lowest level since 1986.

“It’s one of those issues that isn’t red or blue,” Meghan said. “It sets us up for economic growth and success, but it also just allows people to have this very sacred time as a family. “

Meghan added: “It takes strong men, modern men, to really understand that they benefit as well” and that “it’s not just about the mother”.

Meghan also touched on “ambition,” which she said has become a “trigger word” for some, especially when applied to women.

“There is nothing wrong,” she said, with women talking about “success, ambition or financial prowess.”

Among Meghan’s recent projects, she and her husband, Prince Harry, have joined Ethic, a fintech asset manager in the rapidly growing environment, social and governance, or ESG, field as “Impact partners” and investors. Ethic manages $ 1.3 billion and creates separately managed accounts to invest in areas of social responsibility.

Mellody Hobson, co-managing director and chairman of Ariel Investments, who joined Meghan at the summit, said she sometimes felt she had to manage differently as a boss.

“Sometimes I found myself having to adjust myself to win,” said Hobson. “I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. Sometimes I can be tall too.

Ms Hobson and Meghan also touched on workplace diversity initiatives.

“I believe the number one beneficiary of diversity initiatives in this country has been white women,” Ms. Hobson said. “I think the problem is, there’s this scenario that’s created, and it’s a zero-sum game – and it’s not.”

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