The Duchess of Sussex and Duchess of Cambridge are among a cohort of women ‘shaping 2021 and beyond’
The annual round-up, which is published in the magazine’s September issue, aims to celebrate the women who have “paved the way” for “a more equal future”.
The centre aims to raise awareness of the impact of the first five years in child development after early research found a link between these years and some of the challenges people face in adulthood, such as addiction, poor mental health and tendencies towards violence.
“With the flashier end of royal duties largely on hold during lockdown, it was [Kate’s] charity work rather than her fashion choices that pulled the majority of headlines,” the judges said.
“She used the pandemic to launch major campaigns around early-years development and continue her work trying to lift the stigma around discussing mental health, as well as supporting those living with childhood trauma.”
The Duchess of Sussex, who also made the list in 2018 and 2019, was honoured for her “extensive philanthropy work” and her debut children’s book, The Bench.
“It seems no woman has been more talked about on these shores in the past 12 months than Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.
“In addition to her extensive philanthropy work, she inked Netflix and Spotify deals and authored a children’s book, all with a shared goal of promoting equality,” the judges said.
Despite stepping back from her duties as a senior member of the royal family in 2020, the mother of two has continued her work with several UK-based charities.
In March, Smart Works – a charity that provides interview training and workwear to help women re-enter the workplace – announced that Meghan had been writing personalised notes to the women it had helped to congratulate them on their achievements.
Separately, she has also remained the patron of Mayhew, an animal welfare charity that supports vulnerable cats and dogs and their owners.
Also named on the list is musician FKA Twigs. In December 2020, Twigs publicly sued her ex-boyfriend, Shia LaBeouf, for abuse, sexual battery, assault and emotional distress.
Joeli Brearley, the founder and CEO of Pregnant Then Screwed, made the list for raising awareness of pregnancy and maternity discrimination.
“From taking the government to task on childcare legislation to fighting for flexible working for all, Brearley has made it her mission to make women’s working lives not just fairer, but feasible,” the judges said.
Zara Mohammed, the first woman to become secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, was recognised for “laying foundations for a more equal future”.
“There’s a lot of stereotyping that Muslim women are oppressed,” Mohammed told the magazine.
“I’m here to help smash the glass on that perception. We’ll be the ones to say who we are and what we represent,” she added.