Morning Joe Cohost Mika Brzezinski Stopped Playing by This Rule—and It Boosted Her Career

Mika Brzezinski
Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

A musical wunderkind, a restaurant worker rights advocate, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski redefine what it means to be a badass on episode two of InStyle’s new radio show, Who Runs the World: Badass Women Special, airing today at 1pm E.T. on Apple Music Beats 1 Radio.

"The truth is all you need," says Brzezinski during her interview about the power of speaking your mind. “We have somehow been socialized to say everything but what needs to be said in the moment in real time. And I have found that that has really messed me up in contract negotiations, and it also messes things up in human relations."

That was a valuable lesson for the cohost, one that advanced her career and improved her relationships. "You need to say what you need in real time ... it applies to contract negotiations, it applies to money, it applies to relationships, it applies to sexual harassment," she says. "If you can’t say what’s happening in the moment, don’t expect people to read your mind.”

Later in the episode, 16-year-old musician Billie Eilish dials in to tell InStyle Editor-in-Chief Laura how she learned to stop competing with other women—especially when it comes to the pressure to look "good." Which is especially important, activist Saru Jayaraman points out, because women need other's support in order to succeed. “We all have to be badasses and stand together as badasses,” she says. “There’s no other way to win.”

You may recognize Jayaraman from the Golden Globes, which she attended as Amy Poehler’s date to raise awareness for Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), the not-for-profit she co-found to protect restaurant workers’ rights. Jayaraman has been a pivotal player in the Time’s Up movement since its inception. Through her organization, she represents workers in an industry notorious for its harassment and cripplingly low pay.

The takeaway? Badass women stand together. Watch these clips to hear more from Brzezinski, Eilish, and Jayaraman, and listen to the full episode here.

The full second episode of Who Runs the World: Badass Women Special airs today on Beats 1 on Apple Music.

Related Articles