The Duchess’ podcast, Archetypes, is a Spotify original that has been released on Tuesday alongside an introduction to the show, titled ‘Don’t believe the type’.
In the first episode, ‘The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams’, Meghan, 41, talks with her friend about her retirement and evolution from tennis and how they have both faced negative labels and double standards for being ambitious women.
The Duchess says how, despite not being Catholic, she attended a Catholic school, Immaculate Heart, for six years after it reinvented itself with a feminist ideology that “trickled down into every aspect of [her] education and life”.
She was told that their futures as young women were “limitless”, and to them, “ambition was the whole point”.
“I don’t ever remember personally feeling the negative connotations behind the word ‘ambitious’ until I started dating my new husband.
“And apparently ambition is a terrible, terrible thing – for a woman that is, according to some.”
She added: “So since I felt the negativity behind it, it’s really hard to unfeel 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.”
The Duchess opens up the floor to Williams, 40, “somebody who embodies the spirit of ambition”, to discuss the view of the word and its connotations. They also discuss how the labels affecting women have affected her friend too.
The mother of two later adds, in conversation: “The misconception that if you’re an ambitious woman you have an agenda, you must be calculating or selfish or aggressive, or a climber.
“And that if you’re that fierce or strong, or brave then you somehow deserve whatever gets thrown at you – however disproportionate or unfair it may be, and even when it’s more than most could endure. Most men, most anyone.”
Meghan now lives in California with Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, 37, and their two children, Archie, 3, and Lillibet, 1.
Next week, Mariah Carey will appear on Meghan’s Archetypes podcast with all of her guests having “borne the brunt of the labels” they will pick apart and subvert.