process of teaching/learning. (Gergen, 2009, p. 245)
What if the “teacher and student” role of mentoring was extended to the workplace? Then
learning and teachable moments would foster inventive collaborations and conversations
that are desperately needed to revitalize the workforce of the 21st century. Unfortunately,
we often sit in our respective cubicles restricted by time constraints and/or the fear of
someone else gaining the competitive edge. Talent needs to be appreciated and cultivated
in order to thrive. Kate says, “young people don’t get encouraged enough and have
someone around them who recognizes what their strengths are and who says you know
what, you’re a good writer.” She suggests that they ask their employer after they’ve done
a job to just give them some feedback. Kate expands, “what did I do well? What could I
have done better?” There are not enough conversations about our performance -- unless it
breaks down.
Skating into Freelance: The Olympics in Lillehammer
Kate worked on a couple of shows with her sports broadcasting mentor while working at
TWI and says, “I was still making no money and this other producer at CBS asked if I would
like to go to the 1994 Olympics. I was thrilled. My staff job wouldn’t let me quit. So I went
to Lillehammer and made a nice freelance salary per diem and still was making my salary.
One month later, NBC asked me to do another gig so I quit my job and started my
freelance life. It was the 1994 World Figure Skating Championships. I had the potential to
make $10,000 on the gig and it would be a month and a half of work and it would be
stories on-site. I didn’t know exactly what I had to do but I knew I had to do profiles of
certain athletes I had to pitch what stories I thought were good then on site I would
have to edit them and then help make the prime time show.”
Steffi Graf’s Breasts: Dealing With Sexism in Sports Media
We talked about the environment twenty years ago, and although sexism in sports
broadcasting was in the equation, Kate managed to run with the opportunity and thrive.
Kate estimates that there was a small band of about twenty women working in production
at all the networks (ABC, NBC, and CBS) in sports. She admitted to working harder than
the guys to prove herself. This kind of straightforward approach has held her in good stead
in a business known for brashness. She comments, “I had a mouth. I had a lot of people
say things to me. I was in a meeting with two guys in their 30’s and another man in his
50’s. This was a meeting and they started talking about Steffi Graf’s breasts and they just
kept doing that. I finally said, ‘can we get back to the show?’ They said, ‘does this make
you uncomfortable?’ I finally said, ‘I think Steffi Graf has a great body. . .but aren’t we here
to do a show?’ She continues, “I thought they were acting like they were in high school
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