Emma Tattersall founded Ladies-who-Launch in April 2017. The campaign celebrates women in all that they do, with the simple aim of empowering the next generation of strong and fearless women and providing inspiration for women all over the world. Ladies-who-Launch aims to share simple interviews with women of any age and in any profession all answering simple questions about what they do every day. Emma has a genuine desire to champion and support female success in every way.
Where did your idea for Ladies-who-Launch come from?
I started Ladies-who-Launch in April 2017. I had just finished reading WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere by Jennifer Nadel and Gillian Andersen and felt inspired and motivated to have a positive impact, however small that may be, on the people around me. I was meeting so many incredible women and found myself constantly saying “I met X, she’s great, she has X in common with you, I’ll link you up.” Aside from organising rather forced, match-making esque dinner parties between friends, colleagues and clients I was struggling to find ways of connecting these people and providing a safe place for them to share their frustrations, struggles and successes. I was attending a lot of female focused networking events and conferences and hadn’t quite found a space that worked for me.
At the same time, I was also frustrated by the lack of conversation about the things we all do every day. I could recite the minute-by-minute play back of a friend’s date but was struggling to explain her title or job. I remember reading an article in the Guardian that had asked girls between 10 and 17 who their role models were and the most frequent responses were Cleopatra and Kim Kardashian. I couldn’t believe that there seemed to be such a lack of tangible real life role models being celebrated in the every day.
I spent weeks scribbling in a note book, asking friends for their opinions and thoughts, while trying to slowly build a website to host the evolving project. A few months later we opened the site with 8 stories and at that point I thought we be would lucky if we managed to get a few more!
A year and a half later, we have hundreds of stories ready to launch on our Launch Pad, a Speaker’s Corner blog featuring guest written content on a whole range of topics, a thriving book club run by Phoebe Muchmore, a resident business coach – Jess Ratcliffe who writes a Friday column and an annual series of events. It’s been a hugely exciting journey so far.
How do you choose the women to feature in Launching Ladies?
We are lucky to receive questionnaires from amazing women all over the world. We’re a platform that welcomes women from all over the world and from all walks of life. We’re proud to celebrate all the amazing things women are doing, from female founders, super mums, university students, CEOs, intrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, colleagues, friends, writers, freelancers to corporates… there’s a place for every story.
We don’t “choose” our Launchers as such. The beauty of social media means that we have so many submissions through word of mouth (or should it be word of @tag?). We have realised more recently that we need to make a more conscious effort to make our platform more inclusive. BAME and LGBTQ woman are really underrepresented on our platform so our main goal for 2019 is to make sure that we are being proactive about raising awareness of intersectional issues and representing black, asian and ethnic minorities on the Launch Pad, on our blog and at our events – in everything we do really. We want to do more and we want to do better. We want to champion every story. We want to be a diverse platform that isn’t afraid to say we have a lot to learn.
What has been the highlight of Ladies-who-Launch so far?
I find our events hugely rewarding. Our online community is incredibly intelligent and engaged and reading their content or comments brings me so much joy. There is also something so powerful about getting some of these women together in one room, there is an openness, a sense of community and a real feeling that everyone there wants to help each other in any way they can. Our last event was a collaboration with Jennifer Nadel on the topic of her co-authored book WE: A Manifesto for Women Everywhere. It marked the beginning of a new chapter for our events and I am excitedly planning the 2019 line up – watch this space!
One of The Female Lead’s key themes is ‘find strength in setbacks’. Can you tell us about a particular obstacle that’s affected your professional journey and how you overcame it?
I love that. One of my favourite podcasts is “How to Fail” with Elizabeth Day, it looks at how some of our biggest failures are in fact our biggest successes – it’s all about perspective. I think one of the biggest obstacles for me in my professional life – I work in real estate investment – is that for most of my career I have tried to mould myself to fit the mould of the environment I am working in. Whether that’s in the clothes I wear, or the way I conduct business, or the skills I have tried to develop. I now work for an organisation that values me for me. It’s a big corporate business but with space for different stories and skills. I feel less like I have to juggle “work me” and “life me”. They’re hugely supportive of all I do with Ladies-who-Launch and it’s made me realise how powerful a change of context can be, as well as a shift of perspective.