breaking barriers with the optics and age of pregnancy for career women
Get to know Molly Grantham: Charlotte Spotlight
If you want real life, honesty twisted with humor, and authenticity in a corporate world… start following Molly Grantham. This two-time Emmy award winning journalist is an anchor, author and a mother. She’s also one of the FIRST solo female anchors for a main local newscast (meaning 6p and 11p) in the country. Usually you see a man and a woman. They have a #1 11pm newscast in the Charlotte market with a solo female. On top of that, she is also pregnant and over 40, breaking barriers with the optics and age of pregnancy for career women.
She’s a leader in social media and fixture in our households, working at WBTV News since 2003. Last fall she published her first book, Small Victories: The Off-Camera Life of an On-Camera Mom. Despite the telegenic glamour she shows Charlotte on a daily basis, she lets us know it’s okay to screw stuff up and – YES! – still want to work, even after you have kids. Molly doesn’t shy away from tough stuff: She has covered gangs, terrorism, the fight to legalize cannabis oil in North Carolina, and is actively involved in Charlotte’s cancer community and started #MollysKids, stories about local kids facing uphill medical battles. But we like Molly because of her glass half-full perspective, self-deprecating truth-telling and the madness she manages to smile through when it comes to the swirling circle of life.
KNOW Book + Tribe: Share a blip of your story! How did you earn that title?
Molly: Most of us are used to seeing a man and a woman co-anchor local newscasts. But we’re living in changing times and it’s not uncommon to now see two women, or just a male-solo anchored show. I’m proud to say I’m one of the first solo female anchors for a main local newscast (meaning 6p and 11p) in the country. [NOTE: You have to say “main” and “local” because women solo anchor noon shows or other not-as traditionally watched times and that’s all awesome. But fact remains, it’s just quite rare to have only one woman lead a 6p or an 11p local newscast.] On top of that, I’m also pregnant and over 40, breaking barriers by having that image be the optics of what a career woman on TV looks like.
What have you learned along the way?
Be yourself. Be yourself. Be yourself. Don’t wear a mask all day, only to remove it after you’re away from everyone. And, don’t lean on one success and think that’ll carry you through. Make a difference, take a breath, then figure out what your next project is on how to make a difference again.
How has this contributed to your career and success?
Challenging yourself – no matter your career or industry or goal – keeps you invested. Getting bored is a curse. Determination and excitement for what you’re doing is not only contagious to those around you, it’s sexy.
Success is such an extensive term, how do you define it for yourself?
Mmmmm…. Good question. I’m thinking about this answer and am going to land by saying: success is feeling good. Being happy. Wanting to go to work, and then wanting to then go back home again. I don’t judge success by ratings, analytics, or how many likes on social media. Those things are over-rated, quantitative and fleeting. For me, success is having things to do and wanting to do them, but laughing on days I feel more like the bug than the windshield. Success isn’t gossiping about work, it’s learning to be a leader who others come to for advice. Success is helping a charity event, or group of school kids, or younger women trying to make it in the business you’ve learned. Success is writing stories that make a difference. Success is nailing a good show. Success is debating with a producer over word choices, and together crafting sentences with powerful meaning. Success is having a good first half-of-the day, a good 58-minute dinner break with my kids, then getting back to work for the second half on time. And some days, it’s none of those things. Some days, success is simply getting through the day without anything in my teeth. Some days, that can be enough.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share to females trying to do the uncommon and become firsts in their field through awards, entrepreneurial journeys, etc.?
That as great as awards are – and they are great because by design they are created simply to feel good – they aren’t everything. You have to like what you’re doing and at the end of the day, like yourself. Your authentic self. Not just the self you present in the role you play, but you have to like the Real You Are.
Also… specifically… I’d tell women in their 20’s… have thoughtful opinions, and when you have them, find a way to appropriately say them. You don’t need to wait ten or twenty years to think you deserve a voice at the table.
What does honoring women mean to you and how can we continue to strive towards acknowledging more women and the work they are doing?
Keep recognizing and highlighting them. We all learn from each other.
Last but not least, how do you Lift + Rise?
By listening. People want to be heard. They want their stories told. Listen to people when they talk and share them with the world when you can. The good deeds of lifting and rising others will come back around.
To connect with Molly, follow her on:
You can also find Molly on KNOW Charlotte Vol. 1!