In this episode of Talks at GS, Dana Perino, former White House press secretary, Fox News anchor, and author discusses her journey to becoming the first woman to serve as press secretary for a Republican president while serving in President George W. Bush’s administration, as well as insights from her new book, Everything Will Be Okay: Life Lessons for Young Women (from a Former Young Woman).
On her path to press secretary: “After 9/11, I returned – I was at the Justice Department and then I was at the White House Council for Environmental Quality. And I always tell people, ‘take the job that nobody else wants.’ I’m not going to say nobody wanted to work at the Council on Environmental Quality, but during those years, the hot topics were terrorism, foreign policy, all the foreign policies and also tax cuts, like all that stuff. So what I did is, I said, ‘I’ll handle those issues for you, Ari Fleischer and Scott McClellan, so you don’t ever have to worry about them.’ That’s how I ended up ultimately as a deputy press secretary, but partly it’s because you take the jobs that you think aren’t that attractive and do them very well. That’s how you get up.”
On her inspiration for writing the book: “I realized that a lot of the concerns and worries that young women were having… were following them into their 30s and beyond. And I thought ‘It doesn’t have to be that way.’ When they would come to me, I would realize that not only are they worried about, ‘Why am I not moving up more quickly? What if I don’t even like this industry?...Am I doing something wrong?’ All of these things. And I realized they’re putting barriers in their own way.”
The episode was recorded on March 31, 2021.