Meghan kicked off her new podcast, “Archetypes,” which “dives into the labels that try to hold women back,” with an episode on “The Misconceptions of Ambition with Serena Williams.”
After starting with a recollection of her experience of successfully lobbying Procter & Gamble to change a sexist ad for dish soap at age 11, she went on to talk with Williams about “that dirty, dirty word when it comes to women – ambition.”
“I don’t ever remember personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word ‘ambitious’ until I started dating my now husband. And, um, apparently ambition is a terrible, terrible thing – for a woman that is – according to some,” said the duchess, who is an executive producer of the podcast, which is a co-production between the Sussexes’ Archewell Audio, Gimlet and Spotify.
“So, since I’ve felt the negativity behind it, it’s really hard to un-feel it. I can’t unsee it, either, in the millions of girls and women who make themselves smaller – so much smaller – on a regular basis,” she added.
Meghan started dating Prince Harry in 2016. They met on a blind date set up by a mutual friend in July of that year and, by November, Harry had released a statement asking for the abuse and harassment, which was often sexist and racist, of his girlfriend to stop.
In her podcast, Meghan spoke about the “pain” of being mischaracterized, adding that if a man is ambitious, it is “so celebrated,” but, in a school classroom, “if a little girl is ambitious or raises her hand more, what is she called? Bossy.”
Williams, whom Meghan said “embodies the spirit of ambition,” agreed and said that “hopefully we can teach our girls to continue to raise their hand and to be fearless.”
Earlier this month, the tennis star announced that she would “evolve away from tennis” after this year’s US Open to focus on “other things that are important to me.”
The 23-time grand slam champion said in the podcast: “My whole life has been one thing and so now I can focus on Serena Ventures, which I’m excited about.”