Katty (pronounced CAT-TEE) Kay is the lead anchor for BBC World News America. Prior to taking over as lead anchor, Kay served as the Washington Correspondent for BBC since 2002. Kay’s career with the BBC began in Zimbabwe in 1990 where she started filing radio reports for BBC World Service radio. From there she also covered the end of apartheid in South Africa. Kay then went on to work as a BBC correspondent in London, and later Tokyo, reporting on stories including the Kobe earthquake and the Japanese economic recession. She settled in Washington in 1996 where she took some time out of broadcast journalism to join The Times’ (the British newspaper) Washington bureau before returning to the BBC in 2002.
From Washington, Kay covers the full gamut of American and global affairs – reporting on U.S. elections, the White House, Congress, Wall Street, global economies and world trouble spots. Kay also witnessed and reported on the huge change in American policy and psyche brought on by the attacks of September 11. Kay was at the Pentagon just 20 minutes after a hijacked airplane flew into the building – one of her most vivid journalistic memories is of interviewing soldiers still visibly shaking from the attack.
Kay is a frequent guest commentator on NBC’s Meet the Press and MSNBC’s Morning Joe where she also frequently serves as guest co-host. Katty Kay is co-author (with Claire Shipman) of two New York Times bestsellers. The latest is The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know. In it they make the case that confidence has roots in genetic hard-wiring but also comes by choice: less people-pleasing and perfectionism and more action, risk-taking, and fast failure. In their first book together, Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success, Kay and Shipman explore how women can create a professional life that meets their needs – and in the process creates more profitable companies with happier and more productive employees.
Kay grew up all over the Middle East, where her father was posted as a British diplomat. She studied modern languages at Oxford from where she went on to work for a brief period with the Bank of England. She speaks fluent French and Italian and also what she describes as ‘rusty Japanese’. Kay is married to Tom Carver, a strategic risk consultant. They live in Washington, DC with their four children.
WASHINGTON FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE: What’s really going on in Washington?
How will it affect you? Having covered Washington since 1996, Katty Kay has the experience and contacts to talk about the events behind today’s headlines. She reveals the politics behind the posturing and provides a clearer picture of what’s likely to happen with the many challenges facing the President and Congress — health care, industry regulation, curbing runaway spending, growing the economy and jobs, the impact of emerging economies and competition, immigration, tax reform, foreign policy, gun control and more. As a Brit covering Washington, Kay offers a fresh outsider’s perspective and is perfectly positioned to ask and answer the big questions facing the U.S. As for the bigger picture, Kay suggests lessons America can learn from other countries – but will can Washington’s leaders take a time out from their ever-more partisan battles to find a way to compromise and meet the urgent challenges of today? Kay brings a unique perspective to the conversation and argues America’s problems are not economic, they are political – and they can be fixed.
A GLOBAL UPDATE: The world is changing at lightning speed.
It’s a world where many of the fastest growing economies are in Africa; where 300 million micro-bloggers challenge the supremacy of the Chinese state; and where one-third of the population of the Middle East is under thirty. It’s a world where big challenges abound. As the European financial crisis eases, the social toll of high unemployment still threatens the Eurozone. America’s economy is showing signs of resurgence, but its politicians have locked horns to impede real progress. Tension in the South China Seas raises concerns about Beijing’s regional ambitions. And from Tunis to Damascus to Cairo we are still feeling the turmoil of the post-Arab Spring Middle East. Where is it headed? Global times call for global perspective. Katty Kay draws on experience reporting from five different regions – North America, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Europe – to offer insights on where the world is heading and how it will impact you.
THE CONFIDENCE CODE: Confidence! With it, we can take on the world; without it, we don’t ask for raises, request that important meeting, begin novels or take risks.
In the success equation, research shows that confidence is even more critical than competence. But what is confidence and where does it come from? Are we born with it or do we acquire it? And why do women have less of it than their talents deserve? In this speech Katty Kay answers these questions and inspires audiences – weaving the latest scientific research with anecdotes from her own career and the many women she interviewed for the book. “Neurologists have isolated a ‘confidence gene,’” says Kay. “And when my own genes were tested for the book, I learned I am not genetically predisposed to being confident.” Kay’s experience is like that of so many women, even senior women, whose lack of confidence is what really holds them back from leaning in. But confidence is also art – impacted by how we choose to live with our genes. The good news – being confident is a choice. Kay’s storytelling inspires audiences to take action — to go outside their comfort zones, to try new hard things, to take risks, to be prepared to fail and to discover the secret to success.
At the 2013 World Economic Forum in Davos, IMF Chief Christine Lagarde called the advancement of women the greatest economic opportunity of our time. She is recognizing what Kay calls Womenomics, the extraordinary value of women in the workforce. Global studies show that companies who employ more senior women make more money. Women control 83% of consumer purchases; in America they even buy more cars than men. They have more degrees and are ideally suited to the demands of our talent-driven economy. But too many women in their mid-thirties hit the brick wall of kids vs. career and decide to leave the workforce. We can’t afford to keep losing them. Kay marshals evidence from employers large and small to show how possible it is to help women meet the demands of family and career and keep these valuable contributors in the workforce. Flexible work schedules prove to be a win-win; when companies take the clocks off the wall and choose to measure output not input, they see productivity rise by an average of 40%. What starts as talent retention becomes a profit bonus any company would be happy to have. Kay’s talks give an inspirational boost to women and a practical guide to employers, drawing on her own juggling of a demanding career and four children.
MODERATOR, DISCUSSION LEADER & INTERVIEWER
A seasoned moderator and interviewer, Katty Kay brings experience and poise to the stage – deftly guiding the conversation in ways that unearth valuable insights with great, and sometimes surprising, results. Katty Kay will make the most of the important panel gatherings and notable guests on the program.
“Fantastic!!!! Katty was simply fabulous. The audience loved her.”
– Senior Vice President, Business Development
“Katty Kay was a huge hit with the attendees at NY Cash Exchange! She did a great job of creating a current events message geared to our group’s primary areas of interest and her presentation style was very polished and professional. Her humor provided a welcome balance. Perhaps the highest point was the Q&A session. She is obviously very well informed and quick minded. We would certainly book her again.”
– Managing Director, Ruzek Management
“I can’t begin to describe how well Katty connected with our audience. She really resonated with the group as a single presenter discussing politics in DC and the obvious partisanship and discord that threaten our political representatives to govern. Interestingly, she does not give the press a free ride either, as too often, be it television or radio, the media has turned nearly as partisan as our politics. She was engaging, confident and yet self-deprecating at the same time. Doing double duty, she then moderated a business session discussing gender issues in the industry where she performed magnificently. With her recent book, “Womenomics”, it was obvious she knows the concerns and problems of women in the corporate world and their impact in the marketplace. We had several compliments about this session, especially from men. Having said all that, perhaps her most important attribute is her genuineness. She was perfect for our program and our audience. I would not be hesitant to recommend her to any organization.”
– President/CEO, NABCA
“Thank you for being such a great keynote speaker. Your presentation touched our entire membership. The way you set the table with your message of where America fits in today’s Global Economy, was quite skillful and eye opening for those attending. They felt reassured that the USA was still the world leader that they all grew up believing and yes … better days are on their way!”
– Education Consultant, Florida Public Pension Trustees Association
“You were absolutely fantastic – and got rave reviews.”
–Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP