Harris Faulkner is an iconoclast. A woman of color working for the nation's leading news network, she ensures most of her show's crew are women. She energetically engages with millennials and believes strongly in the value of diversity and teamwork. Oh, and did we mention that her work on cable news has not her not one, not two, but six Emmy Awards?
You're a mother of young children and have been working at building a successful career the entire time your daughters have been growing up. Most people would see a tension between being a devoted mother and being devoted to your career - but would not see the same tension for men, who are "supposed" to focus on their careers. Do you feel like motherhood is a unique challenge to women who want to advance their careers?
I think it’s very complicated and very individual. And I think we make a lot of assumptions in our society and many times that’s not fair. There are many challenges to having a successful career in the television industry. In my experience it has been fiercely competitive; mostly run by men, with more men than women at the top.  For decades, there has been very little diversity in content-driven decisions across the board at media networks.  That is changing in all of those categories.  But, that change is slow and unrealized in some areas. So, given my field of expertise as a news anchor and talk show host, there are a lot of reasons why I feel challenged in my career.  Being a mom is a bonus and a blessing. Parenting keeps me grounded. I’m constantly reminded of my purpose and what really matters in life. And, I started a family late in life. I was 39 years old.  For me it was a conscious decision, along with my husband, of course, to put my career first for a while. The goal was never to feel that my children compete for my attention with my career — because they don’t. I don’t know if I had been blessed enough to start a family and to find a husband and all that kind of stuff earlier in life if this would’ve played out as it has. But because my children came later, I didn’t necessarily experience the same competition between my personal life and my professional life that maybe some younger moms may have. And I fully support whatever their individual circumstances and challenges all moms face. And, I also fully believe that in anyone’s career circumstances, children are a blessing. 
How did you overcome the professional barriers you face as a woman, and particularly as a Black woman, and particularly as a Black woman with children?
I’ve certainly burst through some barriers. But there are always new layers of challenges because of the diversity of ethnicity, race, gender, and point of view. You may overcome some obstacles only to discover new ones. Difficult people and biases exist. We are still putting cracks in the glass ceiling. I don’t however believe that being a Black woman is necessarily any tougher than being any woman with a dream because we’re all American first. That’s not to say that life is perfectly fair. But my journey has been successful because I’m expressive— always trying to call out discrimination or unfairness when I experience it. Not in every instance, but I’m learning to make it difficult for people to marginalize me. And I’m old enough now to have the confidence and perspective to handle people whether their difficulties come because they don’t like the color of my skin or they just hate competing with me. Because I hate to lose. 
If there were one thing you wish our society would accept about motherhood and what it's like to be a modern female professional, what would it be?
I wish society would just let us be individuals. Don’t make assumptions about me or my career path because of the color of my skin and the fact that I am a mother. I’m an American parent. To me, that gives me incredible odds at success compared to people around the globe. I just want to be left to make the choices that reflect my individual values. Don’t judge me. And if you insist on judging me, make sure you help!
Don’t make assumptions about me or my career path because of the color of my skin and the fact that I am a mother. I’m an American parent.
What advice do you have for women who want to work on their careers, but don't want to sacrifice everything in their lives to do so?
If you are dedicated to something, it is going to take sacrifice- plain and simple. Sacrifice means something different to each of us. For example, if I’m working on a primetime special, launching a new show, or traveling to interview a President in a pandemic, I huddle with my husband and other key people in my inner circle. It’s important to make sure that my daughters don’t feel my absence too much. I communicate the short term for me to perhaps play a diminished role in some of my Mom duties. It’s taken me some time to understand that we all need people who are clutch in our lives and it’s OK to delegate some things. But honestly, still I have bouts of Mom guilt. My sacrifice is any time I’m away from my family.   
We are blessed to have a home in the perpetually sunny state of Arizona. So, family vacations are extremely important when balancing home with career.
Harris Faulkner FOX News Anchor of the Faulkner Focus and Co-Anchor of Outnumbered
Which of these do you think is more important to change - should the workplace become more accepting of a broad range of talents, or should women cultivate a type of "toughness" that imitates what the business world expects?
Well, none of us should be posers. I find it bizarre to think that a woman would need or want to imitate what the business world expects. In fact, I’m not really sure what the business world expects. Come with your full game, no matter who you are. And don’t make excuses for not doing your job. I travel the nation talking with young women. A message to them: You come prepared and ready to work. And it’s your actions, not your feelings, that will teach others that YOU can help them win!
You come prepared and ready to work. And it’s your actions, not your feelings, that will teach others that YOU can help them win! 
Understanding and patience are traditionally "motherly" values. This Mother's Day, do you think we could all use a little bit of remembering what Mom was like?
Let’s give each other space and grace. It’s what my Mom was amazing at. She always gave my sister and me the space to be who we are. And met our mistakes, failures, challenges, and differences with grace and understanding. Shirley, God rest her soul, was my incredible mother who passed away at Thanksgiving in 2016. She would want me and my girls Bella (14) and Danika (12) to shed our grace with the world through showing kindness and patience.