Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Knowing Your Value

Last weekend I travelled to the San Diego area for a family wedding, which was gorgeous, so much fun, and a lovely break, but is not at all what I want to write about right this moment. I flew out on Southwest, and if you haven’t flown with them lately, they have added some Wi-fi related offerings to their flights. One such offering is access to select ebook titles via Kobo.

I had started a book a couple months ago on another trip, and had been unable to find a copy via my public library to be able to finish it, so the first thing I did after settling in was check the available titles. It wasn’t still on the list (bummer) but another title caught my eye.

Now, I’m not a big follower of political news shows, but I catch Morning Joe periodically, and really enjoy it. News, politics, humor, antics – all in a well thought out, balanced program. I like it. The interactions between the folks there are honest and genuine. (Don’t believe me? Watch it a few times. The eyerolling alone is proof!)

Mika Brzezinski is one of the co-hosts, and I have found that I really admire her. She pulls no punches, she isn’t there to just look pretty, she is a sharp, witty, intelligent woman. She just… gets it.

She is also an author. The book that caught my eye was hers – Knowing Your Value. I’m not embarrassed to share that I DEVOURED this book. As a woman working in a field that for many, many years was male-dominated (as most are, historically speaking) I knew that many of us are wary of pushing for the equality we deserve and have earned. I don’t know that I had been realistic about how wide-spread the issue was. I would never have considered that Mika, who is such a valuable perspective and voice on Morning Joe, was so undervalued by the powers that be.

She talked about how focused people were on her appearance as well. As a woman who rarely wears makeup, and prefers blue jeans and tennis shoes to skirts and heels, I know that people often initially view me as “lesser”. It’s a sad reality that women are expected to make less, give as much (or more, because  they have to “compensate” for the time they are away in a role as mom, wife or other caregiver) and invest more in personal appearance than men.

Now, let me be ABUNDANTLY clear – this is NOT the case with every business. It is not the case for every woman. It is, however, a reality for many women in business. So, with that in mind, if you are a woman in a profession, or a man who works with women, you should consider reading Mika’s book. It is empowering and enlightening.

And if you are on a Southwest flight? It’s a free read at the moment.

Disclaimer: I was in no way compensated for or asked to provide a review of either the book Knowing Your Value or Southwest Airlines. This is simply my sharing of my opinion following my personal direct contact with both.

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