So many women in the spotlight have the understandable sense that if you aren’t front and center all the time, if you aren’t getting tons of clicks, or even surrounded by controversies, you’re not getting noticed and are somehow failing. But in a way, there’s perhaps more to be said for staying steady throughout your career — and staying true to who you are and what you believe in.
Liz Claman embodies this ideal.
You probably know Liz as the gutsy, red-headed anchor on Fox Business Network’s “The Claman Countdown.” I got to know her long before this, in the late ‘90s when she was first starting out at CNBC.
We have a similar career trajectory. We both started at the bottom in local news. We were willing to work every shift, including overnights, to achieve our dreams. And as our careers blossomed, we did it all while being moms to young children.
Back when Liz was at CNBC, I remember she had a frightening experience with her first child, Gabrielle, that was eerily similar to something I experienced with my baby daughter. When Liz first had Gabrielle, she was working the overnight shift at CNBC, anchoring from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., in addition to the 11 a.m. show. One Saturday, when her husband was working and Liz was in that zombie-exhausted state that new moms are all too familiar with, Gabrielle toddled toward the stairs. Due to debilitating exhaustion, Liz’s reflexes were slower and she couldn’t grab Gabrielle in time.
To Liz’s horror, Gabrielle fell down the flight of stairs. The baby had a huge black eye and couldn’t get up or lift her head. They rushed to the hospital, and thankfully, Gabrielle was OK. But that feeling — of guilt, of trying to be all things to all people while forging ahead with your career — is something that never goes away. I experienced it myself when I fell down a very steep set of stairs with my baby daughter after an overnight shift, just six weeks after giving birth — which I wrote about in my book “All Things At Once.”
Through all the ups and downs, all the changes in our industry, we both have made it through. And Liz (and I hope myself) have proven that a woman in her 50s can be on television and have real staying power.
Liz has also made history. She is the only female anchor on Fox Business during market hours. She’s the only Fox Business anchor with her own original weekly podcast. She was the first broadcast journalist to land an hour-long, live sit-down interview with Warren Buffett. She was the first business news anchor to land an inside tour from Elon Musk inside his SpaceX California headquarters to see the original Falcon rocket and Dragon Capsule. The list goes on and on. When there was turmoil and change in our industry, Liz stayed true to what she is and who she is: an exceptional journalist. She does great work every day, is steady and doesn’t waver. She also always goes with her gut instinct. As many business news personalities have gone heavy into political opinion, Liz has continued to be the CEO whisperer, landing interviews with news-making business leaders from Delta Air Lines’ Ed Bastian to Brian Chesky of Airbnb.
And the tons of clicks I mentioned? Liz's business-focused TikToks get up to one million views a day.
We can all do ourselves a favor and take a page out of Liz’s playbook in staying consistent and going with your gut. Even if a group of people around you are going in a direction you don’t believe is the right road to travel, go with what your gut tells you and take that 'road less traveled.' It worked for me. And it worked for Liz.