Los Angeles: Oscar-winning actress Anne Hathaway is the latest Hollywood figure to be appointed by the United Nations as a global goodwill ambassador to promote gender equality and women empowerment. Hathaway joins Nicole Kidman, Emma Watson and Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol of Thailand as fellow women’s goodwill ambassadors. Hathaway has been brought on board to shed light on what UN Women’s Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka described in a statement as the “motherhood penalty”, the Guardian reported. “It is a particularly insidious demonstration of gender inequality in the workplace,” Mlambo-Ngucka said on Wednesday. “The appointment of Anne is timely because this year UN Women is driving hard to foster more positive mindsets and practical arrangements around workplaces that build and support equality for women," Mlambo-Ngucka added. Hathaway, who said in a statement that she feels “honoured and inspired by this opportunity to aid in advancing gender equality”, is no stranger to advocating on behalf of women’s rights. The actor previously served as an advocate for the Nike Foundation, formed to support programmes to empower adolescent girls in the developing world, and in 2011 traveled to Kenya to raise awareness on sexual violence in the region. She also lent her voice to the 2013 CNN documentary Girl Rising, about the power of female education. “Significant progress has already been made, but it is time that we collectively intensify our efforts and ensure that true equality is finally realised,” Hathaway said about her appointment.