Fox News Journalist Maria Bartiromo’s Life Advice
Photo: FOX Business Network
When Brooklyn-born Maria Bartiromo began her career in broadcast journalism in the early ’90s, the press nicknamed her Money Honey. But the whip-smart anchor’s proven herself a real force to be reckoned with. Twenty years ago, she was the first person to report from the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Today, the anchor and global markets editor for the Fox Business Network and the Fox News channel, is known for getting tough interviews and leading the way for women in business broadcast journalism. Here, Maria shares how she made it in the boys’ club of business and explains how experience leads to confidence.
BB: So you and I actually met in the women’s bathroom at the White House Correspondents Dinner many years ago!
MB: Yes, that is absolutely right, and we hit it off immediately.
BB: Yes, and I complimented you on your gorgeous eyes, and like a lot of attractive women you looked at me like I had four heads!
MB: Well, coming from you, I was like, “Wow, thank you.”
BB: You are both incredibly beautiful and incredibly smart, and to me, that’s a powerful combination. Tell me about growing up in this business and being a woman.
MB: I always tried to differentiate myself by making sure I studied a lot and I knew the content cold. I started my career as a production assistant at CNN, and then I was an assignment editor. I spent five years at CNN Business News, 20-plus years at CNBC as an on-air reporter and news anchor, and I was the first person to broadcast from the floor at the New York Stock Exchange. I am not one of these women who dealt with people not taking me seriously because I was a woman, but when I was on the floor of the exchange it was something of a boys club. So I needed to overcome a little bit and make sure that I was doing what I wanted to do and doing it well. I also worked to be taken seriously. In order to do that I just made a commitment that I would study, study, study, and own the job.
BB: What advice do you have for women who are just starting out in the business?
MB: My first piece of advice is you have to love what you do. I would try as much as you can to take money out of the equation. Don’t look for a career expecting to get rich overnight. You must love what you do and you’ll be able to work really hard and possibly be in the right place at the right time to get a little luck. (Luck is also a part of this.) Number two: Work really hard. There are no shortcuts. I really believe that it doesn’t matter who you are, who your parents are, or who you know—the person who is going to give you that opportunity is going to judge your performance, so it is really critical that you work hard. Number three, it is imperative to do the right thing in all situations when you are faced with a dilemma. We all know what is right and we all know what is wrong. Make sure to cherish your reputation. No matter where you go your reputation will follow you, and you’ll always want to be that person who has integrity and does the right thing. I think those three things are really critical to success in any industry. In terms of my own industry, broadcast journalism, internships are really important. When you are in school, try and get your foot in the door of as many internships as possible.