The daughter of a British diplomat, Katty grew up all over the Middle East. Her 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. Katty 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 from broadcast journalism to join The Times’ (the British newspaper) Washington bureau before returning to the BBC in 2002.
Katty is a popular speaker who addresses both current political events and also issues impacting women. Katty’s talks on American politics and global affairs offer the fresh perspective of someone who has lived in and reported from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and now Washington, D.C. She looks beyond the headlines and provides valuable insights on the top stories making news right now – the challenges facing the President and Congress, the outlook for the next major U.S. election, global economic news, world trouble spots, diplomatic dustups, terrorism, and more. Additionally, the challenges of juggling a demanding career and a family with four children led her to speak and write on two topics that strongly resonate with women: confidence and something she calls “Womenonics.”
Katty Kay is co-author (with Claire Shipman) of two New York Times bestsellers. The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know, inspires women to understand that confidence – the lynchpin of success – is a choice. She shows ways to break out of comfort zones and take risks that pay off. In her first book, Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success, she examined the workplace revolution and inspired women to take control, dream big and discover a different way of weaving work into their lives – and in the process create more profitable companies with happier and more productive employees. In April 2018, Katty and Claire released, The Confidence Code for Girls: Taking Risks, Messing Up, and Becoming Your Amazingly Imperfect, Totally Powerful Self. This empowering, entertaining guide gives girls the essential yet elusive code to becoming bold, brave, and fearless.
Katty 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’. Katty is married to Tom Carver, a strategic risk consultant. They live in Washington, D.C. with their four children
- 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.
- Moderator, Discussion Leader & Interviewer
As a journalist, Katty Kay regularly interviews scores of political dignitaries, business leaders, and cultural icons for her news broadcasts. She brings that talent to corporate, association, and organization events where she’s interviewed noted figures from a wide variety of backgrounds including Condoleezza Rice, Anna Wintour, Dan Levy, Michael Lewis, Cynt Marshall, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Carlo Ancelotti, Anoush Ansari and scores more. The skill, grace and humor Katty brings to in-person and virtual events as a panel moderator, discussion leader, and interviewer will get the most out of her guest/panelists and create a memorable experience for the audience.
- 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.
- America From a Different Angle
Emerging from the pandemic, America is grappling with unprecedented social, cultural, workplace, economic, political, and technological change. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – and its new closer ties with China – further complicate the political and economic picture for the U.S. In this speech, veteran journalist Katty Kay gives audiences the latest news from Washington – unpacking politics and policies and their impact. As someone who’s worked and lived in Asia, Europe, Middle East, Africa and (since 1996) Washington, D.C., Katty looks at America’s challenges through a global lens. As a result, her insights are unique and refreshing. Even-handed with a light dose of British humor, Katty reminds audiences to keep the challenges in perspective.
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.