“Know your worth” says SWFL broadcaster on working in the industry
Note to readers: March is Women’s History Month – a time to recognize the many achievements women have made throughout the course of American history in a variety of ways.
There are countless influential women throughout Southwest Florida making a difference in their community. In this Q&A series, we highlight five of them who are making strides in their respective fields, one each week day this week.
Birch, who says she is 50-ish, is an on-air personality at Sunny 106.3. She is a broadcaster and journalist who made her Southwest Florida radio debut in the ’90s and has worked in the industry for more than 30 years. She is a contributor to local and regional publications, including The News-Press and Naples Daily News, where she writes about food and wine. She’s a Fort Myers resident.
Q. What do you like most about what you do?
Birches: I love discovering a good story and then sharing it with others. Whether it is the inspiration for a song, or how a chef first discovered his/her love of food, how a grape vine made its way from France to Argentina, or how an ordinary person overcame adversity to do something extraordinary. We all have stories. I’m blessed to have a platform, several platforms, to share them and to inspire others.
Q. What advice do you have for a young woman interested in working in your industry?
Birches: Know your worth. Have the courage to ask for what you want. Show up 110% all the time.
Q. How do you handle adversity?
Birches: Dealing with adversity is always challenging. I try to take a minute to center myself so I can see a bigger picture of what is going on. Getting outside of myself as well as outside and in the sunshine also helps. So does journaling. Getting my thoughts out of my head and on paper for me to see often helps me form some kind of strategy to deal with the challenge. Sometimes there isn’t a solution I like, but at least I know I’ve tried. The sun will rise again in the morning. It’s humbling, but sometimes remembering that helps.
Q. Is there a woman throughout history who inspired you? why?
Birches: I’m surrounded by women who inspire me every day. They aren’t necessarily famous but they make a difference. As for a woman in the public eye, it’s Oprah. I admire her style of interviewing guests, of connecting with her audience, and most importantly, of using her show and her voice to encourage, inspire and make a difference in the lives of so many people and businesses.
Q. What is your favorite restaurant in Southwest Florida? why?
Birches: You are going to get me in trouble with this question. There are so many great places to eat here and all for different reasons. My favorite depends on my mood.
Q. If you could go back in time and give your younger self some advice what would it be?
Birches: Don’t expect people you work for or with to look out for your interests. You use your voice to help everyone else. Don’t forget to use it to help yourself too. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, what you think you deserve. The worst thing that can happen is someone will say no. At least you tried.
This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Women’s History Month in Southwest Florida: Highlighting Gina Birch