Know your value: A powerful message for women

A powerful message for so many women: Know your value. 

It’s one co-host of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe", Mika Brzezinski, has made it her mission to spread — writing about it in her book, and holding conferences in major U.S. cities.

She says many women feel bad asking for more money at work.

"I think it’s really primal and basic. I think that for some reason we feel it is our responsibility to make everybody in the room feel comfortable," Brzezinski said.

In 2008, she almost quit her job at "Morning Joe" after learning she was making 14 times less than her co-host. She says at the negotiation table you have to be tough, but not over the top. 

"I just think elegantly and with grace, we can be tough as well and there are times I think we can be aggressive. But you do need to know how to switch gears and you do need to know the room," Brzezinski said.

She says know what the bosses are looking for and that practice is key.

"It could be getting up in church and speaking, it could be going and advocating for your kid in school, it could be advocating for someone else," Brzezinski said. 

The biggest mistake women make she says – saying "I’m sorry." 

"All that has gotta go because all of that leaves a huge pile of money on the table. It literally does. If you say sorry, you’re saying don’t pay me," Brzezinski said.

And that awkward silence that comes up during the meeting… Embrace it.

"It’s not your job to fill the room with words. Just sit there. Look. After you’ve put your data on the table, what else is there to say? Wait for them to talk. And if it feels really awkward, you have done your job," Brzezinski said.

One last tip: Brzezinski says it’s important that you don’t worry about being friendly with your bosses during the negotiation. She says if they are truly your friend they will understand, and your friendship will survive a tough negotiation.