In her free time away from co-hosting MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Mika Brzezinski has been fighting the good fight. With the release of her book Knowing Your Value in 2012, she has been very candid about her quest to make a level playing field for women in the workplace. Her inspiration came from taking on the powers that be after years of going along with business as usual. “It was my own struggle, at 40 years old, to speak for myself in my own contract negotiations with MSNBC,” says Brzezinski, “so I wrote a book about it”.
With the book’s wild success, she decided to start an annual Know Your Value conference in New York City. This year’s all-day event will consist of workshops, interactive panels, and training that is “designed to empower women in their personal and professional lives”. Also on hand will be some pretty impressive A-list speakers including actress Sarah Jessica Parker, Martha Stewart, CBS Sunday Morning anchor Jane Pauley and many others.
One of the big events at this year’s conference will be the “Grow Your Value Bonus Competition” that will select three lucky women from the tri-state area to make presentations to Brzezinski and the rest of the panelists for the chance of winning a $5,000 bonus. Finalists will be chosen through video submissions that show “what it is you bring to the table.” Each of the lucky three chosen will be flown out to New York City and given makeovers and assigned special coaches for their presentations. The deadline for entries to this competition is Monday, October 8th, so don’t miss your chance!
It is clear to see how empowering an event like this can be. But why is it so important in the age of Trump? “I feel like in the age of Trump this is not just valuable, it’s vital” explains Brzezinski. “In some ways, we’ve been set back terribly but we don’t have to let that happen,” she says, adding “we have to step up our voices and we have to step up together … Taking it a step further than resisting. Learning how to lead and grow and stay in for the long haul in the workforce.”
With all of this talk about empowering women in the face of workplace adversity, how has life changed on set after news broke of Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough’s wedding next Spring? “Strangely enough, for me, it hasn’t been an issue at all,” she says. After celebrating 10 years of doing Morning Joe every day with her future husband, Brzezinski attributes the great work environment to how much of a “well-oiled machine” the show has become.
“I don’t know if I would say you should work with the person you’re going to marry and be with that person 24 hours a day 7 days a week. I think that’s more challenging than any office dynamic,” says Brzezinski, adding “I never thought I’d be on a show where I’d say I love everybody I’m on the show with, but I am. It’s really fun!” This year’s Know Your Value conference will be taking place on October 30th at NYC’s the Grand Hyatt. Brzezinski will also be re-releasing the original book in Spring 2018 and publishing two more books in her Know Your Value series in Fall 2018.