The book, Know Your Value was a gift given after the “In the Black” event where Mika Brzezinski was a guest speaker. The book is the revised 2018 edition of her earlier 2011 best seller. After several attempts, I put the book down, I could not get past the introduction. I stood still in the moment of realization that women globally continue to be valued less than their male counterparts. I wanted to know what Mika had to say but it was too painful to turn pages; I used my last Audible credit to purchase the audio version of the book – it was worth it! The reader could persevere when I could not — which forced me to hear story after story, research study after research study about the woes of the gender pay gap. Chapter three was especially heartbreaking because it stated that women also value women less than men. Mika presents several studies as evidence of unconscious bias,
“What was really shocking to me was the fact that women were as likely as men to ascribe leadership qualities to men, and dismiss equally qualified women. . .. What surprised me most was the news that most women, even if they get their well-deserved raise, won’t ever close the wage gap.”
While the book presents some disappointing findings, it is not all doom and gloom. Mika shares her personal story of learning to value her contributions and negotiating for what she deserves. The book also weaves a tale of hope from the response to the first edition of the book to a national movement to help more women first assess their value then fight for it. Mika’s final advice in the closing lines,
“The time has passed that we leave ‘money on the table,’ whether at your job, in your home, or with the person you love the most. Know your value. Get it. And finally, live the life that you deserve.”
As we reflect on an unprecedented year, it may be time to assess, and reaffirm our value.