When three women friends get together with a goal, there is no stopping them. Putting real women’s conversation into the mainstream, Badass Women’s Hour champion the heronie in all forms. Meet the founders, Emma, Harriet and Natalie who have a national radio show, a weekly podcast, run live events and are all over social media. You go girls…
Where do you live in London and what do you like about the area?
Emma Sexton: I live in East London – Plaistow – that nobody has ever heard off. I have a pact with the local black cab drivers to call it ‘Plaistow Village’ to help put the house prices up! I have lived here a number of years now and whilst it doesn’t have the trendy coffee shops it does have the best transport links. I also have a wonderful community of neighbours down my street of all ages and backgrounds.
Harriet Minter: I’m based by the river in Fulham. Over the past few years most of the exciting, dynamic side of London has moved to the East and I actually love the fact that South West London has slowed down a bit. Where I live is particularly village-y. This means “home” doesn’t feel like “work” and I really appreciate that. I love living by the Thames, I walk along it most mornings with my dog and it’s the best way to start the day.
Natalie Campbell: I live in Kensal Rise which is about five minutes from where I grew up in Willesden. I love it because my family, primary and secondary school friends live locally too. I also love going into places where ‘everybody knows your name’. The Chamberlayne Pub know I only drink out of fine wine glasses regardless of the measure and my local coffee place know my exact order. It feels like a little village and I can spend the weekend plodding around Queens Park as that is at the end of my road. It’s also exactly a mile if you run the perimeter so a great way to let off some steam before eating a bacon and egg butty (with all the sauces) from the Salisbury Deli in the park.
How did the three of you meet and what led you to start Badass Women’s Hour?
Emma Sexton: We met from networking really. I am lucky enough to be connected to some wonderful women who enjoy connecting and sharing opportunities with each other. From meeting Harriet first on a panel at an event, she later introduced me to Natalie. When Natalie created the Badass Women’s Hour concept she invite us both to join her.
Harriet Minter: I was working at the Guardian and Natalie was doing a research piece there for a fellowship she was undertaking, I remember her having loads of brilliant ideas and vision, and just wishing I had her energy! Emma and I were both on a panel, and because she’s a brilliant networker she got me out for lunch a little while later, and when she explained that she was taking a group of entrepreneurs to New York for a week I basically muscled my way into the trip. When Emma set up a networking group for entrepreneurs I introduced her to Natalie and we’ve all been friends ever since.
Natalie Campbell: I met H through work and Em through H. Perfect networking really. They did an event at W London Hotel and Emma roped me in to write a brief for a follow on event there catering to women. I came up with the name and panel format ‘Badass Women’s Hour’ over dinner. I knew that Em and H would be the perfect partners in badassery and the rest is history.
What’s been the most rewarding moment since you started the show and why?
Emma Sexton: There have been so many but really each week we do a show, on our own terms, talking about the topics we care about, with the women who inspire us – that is always really rewarding. I have learned so much since I started the show from some of our incredible inspirational guests such as The Slumflower, Munroe Bergdorf, Gina Miller, June Sarpong and Stacy Solomon.
Harriet Minter: For me, it was winning a Diversity in Media award in our first year. We’d set ourselves a goal of making the show as diverse as possible, not going for the usual guests, and to have that recognised over other much bigger and better-known shows was incredible.
Natalie Campbell: Every week is rewarding. It’s such a privilege to co-host a platform for women to share their stories, ideas, hopes and dreams on their own terms. Even when I’m super tired from the working week 10 minutes into a heated/verging on argumentative debate with Em or H (usually H) I remember why I love it so much. We are women free to say what when think without judgement (from each other at least).
Tell us about the pitching workshop that you’re hosting at this year’s Stylist Live.
Emma Sexton: The three of us all realised early on in our careers that there was nothing stopping us from doing what we wanted to do in life but we had to get out there and make it happen. Being great at pitching your ideas is then essential – if you can’t get people to understand and believe in your idea, how will you convince them to help you make it happen? We want all women to be a success and this session is going to give really smart, tried tested actionable tips. It is not to be missed!
Harriet Minter: We’ve all had to hustle a lot in our careers and we know the importance of being able to sell what you do in a short period of time. We want to make sure that no woman misses out on an opportunity because she can’t sell herself and her work convincingly but we also know that when you’re in the moment it can be terrifying and your mind can go completely blank so the workshop will give you a clear structure for the perfect pitch and the opportunity to practice it!
Natalie Campbell: Being able to pitch is essential to success. I’ve made my whole career one big pitch. Idea after idea I’ve put myself in rooms or situations that need me to stand up and say who I am, what I stand for and what I want. I’m pretty close to living my best life as a result. This session will mix pitching for work with pitching across your everyday life because doing both is how to get what you want these days.
Photo by Nicole Marie.
Describe your perfect day in London.
Emma Sexton: My perfect day in London would be brunch on the rooftop of The Ned which has amazing views of St Pauls, then a walk up to Spitalfields to grab a coffee from my favourite coffee shop – Department of Coffee and Social Affairs – then onto Columbia Road for the flower market and some interior design inspiration.
Harriet Minter: An early morning walk along the river with my dog, maybe from Putney down to Barnes, and then yoga at The Power Yoga Company. After that catching up with friends over brunch at either Hally’s in Parson’s Green or somewhere central, I love White City House for the views and the Wolsey for people watching but anywhere that lets you bring the papers and take your time over eggs is good with me. Then I’d probably head to the V&A, my favourite museum. There’s always something new to see but I also love wandering through their permanent exhibitions, particularly the stained glass windows and icons on the first floor. In the afternoon I might head to Battersea park for another walk, my dog loves dashing in and out of all the bushes, and I love the Pear Tree cafe for tea and cake. My favourite spot for dinner is The Shed in Notting Hill. It’s this tiny restaurant, in a shed, run by three brothers. One of them runs the farm where most of the food is sourced from, one of them cooks it and the third is the front of house. It’s always friendly and relaxed and the food is incredible – particularly the homemade Vienetta. I love the theatre so if I can spend an evening at The National on the Southbank then I know it’s a good day, particularly if it’s a warm night and I can end the day as I started it, walking along the river watching the lights twinkle in it.
Natalie Campbell: My perfect day in London involves brunch with the girls, a mooch around Kensal Rise and Queens Park with some hot yoga thrown in, a bunch of flowers from Queens Park Station Flowers and lots of lovely snacks on the sofa (Gails Apple Crumble Pie in the autumn/winter) but if I’m feeling more sociable then a rooftop is my go to. I love White City House and The Ned for the views, great brunch options and bumping into people you haven’t seen for ages.