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“We need to continue helping women in oppressive societies, our problems pale in comparison to theirs” With Katty Kay

“I’ve lived and worked in developing countries so I’m particularly interested in helping women in oppressive societies. Our problems can…


“I’ve lived and worked in developing countries so I’m particularly interested in helping women in oppressive societies. Our problems can pale in comparison to theirs, the more we can do to empower them, the better off all women will  be.”


I had the distinct pleasure to interview Katty Kay, BBC News anchor and author of the “Confidence Code and Confidence Code for Girls”.

Katy will be joining Mika Brzezinski, founder of “Know Your Value” and co-host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” in heading west to take the “Know Your Value” live event series to San Francisco on Dec. 1 at The Palace Hotel. The all-day program, in partnership with NBCUniversal News Group, will feature speakers, networking opportunities and interactive panels designed to empower women in their personal and professional lives. The public can purchase tickets today by clicking here.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you share the most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your career?

A few years ago I was fired as an anchor by the BBC. I was devastated because I loved the job but also because it was humiliating. But it forced me to take a different position and try something new and I learned a whole new skill in political reporting and writing. If you can force yourself to get through failures and pull something out of them, they can teach you a lot.

Can you share the funniest mistake that you made when you first started? Can you share the lesson you learned from it?

Where to start?! My single biggest, repeated mistake was assuming I was lucky to have my job so not daring to ask for anything — and then accepting my bosses argument that I should be thankful just for working there.

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

We’re really proud of the success of our new book The Confidence Code for Girls. It’s been on the NYT bestseller list for 24 weeks and we’re looking at different ways to get the message out, TV, novels, picture books. It’s really exciting.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I love meeting American voters. I get to interview a lot of politicians but I always enjoy interviewing “ordinary” people the most — though most of them are anything but ordinary. Everyone has an interesting story to tell.

What advice would you give to someone considering a career in journalism?

Be curious and stay curious.

What advice would you give to your colleagues in the industry, to thrive and not “burnout”?

Burnout is a real risk, especially now when there is so much news. I take real breaks, put my phone down, get out in to the countryside and ignore the news — even if it’s just for a few hours.


How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

Our work on confidence has been my passion and the thing we’ve really contributed to a lot of women’s lives. It’s so satisfying to hear the feedback from women who’ve found the book useful.

I know this is not an easy job. What drives you?

This is a such a fascinating time to be a journalist. It’s exhausting, but fascinating. I know I’m fortunate to have a front row seat at this historic moment — that keeps me going when the days have been stressful.

Do you have a favorite book that made a deep impact on your life? Can you share a story?

I remember reading Wild Swans when I was in my early 30s and thinking what a tough life women in China had during Mao. It was really my first literary experience of the cultural revolution and that story of 3 generations of Chinese women was an insight into how they kept their humanity in a time of intense hardship.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I’ve lived and worked in developing countries so I’m particularly interested in helping women in oppressive societies. Our problems can pale in comparison to theirs, the more we can do to empower them, the better off all women will be.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  • Be honest about your abilities, they’re greater than you tell yourself.
  • Take more risks — what’s the worst that can happen.
  • Trust your gut.
  • Find a way to talk about your successes.
  • Let mistakes and criticisms go — ruminate less.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

I’ve interviewed Jeff Bezos once — I’d love to sit down with him again.

I’d love to meet Ashley Judd and ask how she found the courage to speak up about Weinstein.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

@kattykaybbc

And on Insta — officialkattykay

Originally published at medium.com

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