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Katty Kay on her newest project to raise strong, confident girls

The BBC presenter, MSNBC contributor and author of the "Confidence Code" book series gives Mika Brzezinski a first look at her newest title. Kay also shares her experience taking time away in Senegal.
Journalist, author and broadcaster Katty Kay on "Morning Joe"
Journalist, author and broadcaster Katty Kay on "Morning Joe"Miller Hawkins

This holiday season, journalist Katty Kay is spreading confidence to girls all over the world with “The Confidence Code for Girls Journal.”

The journal is an interactive follow-up to the 2018 bestselling book “Confidence Code for Girls,” written by Kay and Claire Shipman.

Kay on Friday spoke to Know Your Value founder and “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski about the journal, which contains quizzes, drawing space and more.

“There’s something about writing it down,” said Kay. “It’s private and without judgment in a journal for girls that helps them think about what they’re going through.”

Kay said that quiz questions include thought starters like: “You love a book in class, and no one seems to like it. Do you keep quiet about it or do you make the case for that book?” and “When’s the last time you sent a text when you wanted to say something in person?”

“We’ve all done things where we weren’t being confident,” said Kay. “This is helping them explore it...and it’s fun.”

Brzezinski said the exercises are critical for young girls now so that they will be more empowered when they hit the negotiation table.

“You and I have spent so much time doing remedial therapy with women who at 30 40, 50, who don’t have the confidence they need to communicate their value effectively and they leave money on the table in life,” Brzezinski said.

Kay had a battle with her own confidence recently. She was scared of leaving for Senegal for three months earlier this fall in order to research her book. She worried that her employers would forget about her.

“Stepping off, not being on television in three months — will there be no job for me anymore?’” Kay remembered asking herself. “I was fortunate that the BBC and MSNBC gave me this time to do something really different.”

Kay was also uprooting the life of her 13-year-old daughter, who attended a Senegalese school. Not only did Kay overcome her career fears, but her daughter gained a unique perspective during a critical time in her growth.

“She had an amazing cultural experience...and I think we’ve given our daughter the best education we could give her,” Kay said.

“The Confidence Code for Girls Journal: A Guide to Embracing Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self” is available here.