When you’re a successful business woman at the helm of Cosmopolitan magazine, you might spend your precious downtime socializing with friends and family, keeping up with you favorite exercise habits, or indulging in pure undefined “me” time. Or if you’re Kate White you might sit down to pen the next New York Times best-selling mystery novel. Kate is an internationally renowned business leader, speaker, and author; in addition to writing on leadership and business she is the author of the best-selling Baily Weggins mystery series. She has had a long and distinguished career in print publishing, working her way from Child Magazine and Redbook to eventually assume the mantle as Editor-in-Chief at Cosmo for fourteen years. Working on the business side of magazine publication where boardrooms and shareholder meetings are still largely dominated by men, Kate understands the value of mentorship and of equipping young women with the kinds of tools they need to advance and rewrite gender history. She shares more than one or two of her success secrets in her latest book, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: How to Ask for the Money, Snag the Promotion and Create the Career You Deserve.
Image courtesy of Yolanda Perez
If you could describe yourself in three words, what would those words be?
Determined, passionate, kind-of-zany
Tell us about a girl in your life who rocks.
My daughter Hayley, age 23. She’s doing grad work in film making in London. I love how she pushes the envelope with her projects.
What are your dreams/goals/ambitions?
I’d love to take my success as an author—in both fiction and non-fiction—to a new level. I just completed a psychological suspense called Eyes on You, which comes out in June. It’s a harrowing story about a career woman and is a little different for me, which was exhilarating.
What are you most proud of?
I’m most proud of always having been there for my kids. You can be successful and a good mom, but there are certain tradeoffs at times. I went into women’s magazines because I sensed it would be more conducive to balancing motherhood with work, and I was right. Trade-offs don’t have to be bad.
What piece of advice changed your life?
“Think out of the box.” It’s a cliché now but it works. You need to step back from what you do and figure out how to make it even bigger and bolder and more badass. That’s how you separate yourself from the pack
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Doing lots of traveling, splitting most of my time with my husband between our home in Manhattan, our place in Uruguay and our farm in Pennsylvania, and also squeezing in other trips when we can. I love traveling and change and just mixing it up.
What is the number one item on your bucket list?
To get to Australia. When I do, I will have been to all 7 continents.
Who has been the biggest female influence in your life and why?
It’s a tie between my mother and my daughter. My mom has always been so supportive and encouraging. And my daughter reminds me to go big.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken and what did you learn from it?
I moved to New York City at 22 without any real contacts here (and only two pairs of shoes). Scary at first but everything fabulous came from it. I learned the nothing exciting happens in your comfort zone (though it’s nice to be there every once in a while).
Why are you THAT GIRL?
For 14 years I ran Cosmo, the biggest women’s magazine brand on the planet, made it number 1 on the newsstand, and left on my own terms (and with a nice bag of products from the Cosmo beauty closet!)
*Interview conducted and compiled by Sheila Moeschen, IATG Senior Editor