TV News Star Mika Brzezinski on “Knowing Your Value” as a Working Woman

Mika Brzezinski of “Morning Joe,” the poster child for women who “have it all,” talked with Make It Better about her new book.

A mother of two young daughters, Brzezinski, who will speak in Chicago on June 1, chronicled her struggle to grow a successful TV news career and a family, simultaneously, in the best-seller “All Things at Once.” She was an anchor of the “CBS Evening News Weekend Edition” and a CBS News correspondent until she was fired in 2006. Then, after joining MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Brzezinski found out that she was the lowest paid person at the table—by a lot. It took her several attempts to negotiate a raise.

But she didn’t blame MSNBC. Instead, she realized that she had always had a problem with negotiating effectively, and that many women similarly struggle with asking for what they’re worth. In her new book, “Knowing Your Value: Women, Money and Getting What You’re Worth,” Brzezinski talks to prominent women such as Valerie Jarrett, Nora Ephron, Joy Behar and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg about how to overcome the workplace pitfalls that are unique to women.

Make It Better heard from Mika about why women need to stop worrying about being nice.

MIB: What do you hope women will take away from “Knowing Your Value”?

MB: A sense of focus. We have a great deal of clutter in our brains when we go to the negotiating table. We worry about being liked. Being nice. Not being perceived as too this or that. We need to weed out the clutter, do our research, and communicate effectively and confidently. (And P.S.: Not only will they like you, but they will respect you, too.)

MIB: What advice would you give to women who want get back into the work force after having children?

MB: Don’t stay out too long. You can get more done when they are babies.

MIB: What did you learn from getting fired from your job at CBS?

MB: Who my friends really are, and how much I loved having a job.

Mika will speak about “Knowing Your Value” on June 1 at noon, at a luncheon at the Union League Club sponsored by The Book Stall. Call 847-446-8880 for reservations. For more on Mika, visit