Katy Balls speaks to women at the top of their respective games, about their passions, their battles, and what makes them tick.
Katy Balls is Deputy Political Editor of The Spectator.
The Louise Perry Edition
Louise Perry is a journalist, campaigner and author of The Case Against the Sexual Revolution. It offers a new guide to sex in the 21st century – rather than herald sex positivity as a good thing for women, she argues it has had negative consequences. Her work has been published in multiple news outlets including The Spectator, Daily Mail and the New Statesman. As a campaigner, Louise began her career working in a rape crisis centre and most recently, co-founded the think tank, The Other Half, a non-partisan organisation that champions the voices of women and families not heard in Westminster.
On the podcast, Louise talks to Katy about her upbringing in a London-based Guardian read-y household; how working in a rape crisis centre solidified her views on the importance of women-only spaces; and why progressives are wrong about the sexual revolution.
Produced by Natasha Feroze.
From the archives: Liz Truss
Before the new Women With Balls series arrives in Autumn, we have prepared a special episode from our archives. Katy Balls interviewed Liz Truss four years ago when she was chief secretary to the Treasury. Back then she was a straight talker who was gaining a reputation for her speeches that would often turn into memes, she was a politician that was starting to find her own voice and speak her mind. Now Liz Truss is vying to be the next Prime Minister and the odds-on favourite to enter 10 Downing Street. But what has changed since 2018?
Katy Balls and Kate Andrews discuss the pathway of Liz Truss's career that has led her to where she is now.
Produced by Natasha Feroze.
Anatomy of a downfall: with Victoria Atkins
Until July 6, Victoria Atkins was the Minister of State for Refugees and Minister of State for Prisons and Probation. But as dozens of her colleagues quit in the wake of Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid's resignations (which themselves followed No. 10's messy handling of the Chris Pincher affair), Atkins resigned too, writing that 'values such as integrity, decency, respect and professionalism' have ‘fractured’ under Boris Johnson's leadership.
On this episode of Women With Balls, Katy Balls hits the rewind button with Atkins, taking us through the turbulent events of those few days. They discuss what it's like to resign from government while on a school run; unforced errors from No. 10 itself; and whether the Conservative party can properly heal after this divisive time.
Produced by Cindy Yu.
The Anne-Marie Trevelyan Edition
Anne-Marie Trevelyan is the Secretary of State for International Trade and the MP for Berwick-Upon-Tweed. In the episode, she tells Katy about what it was like to join the City in the 90s, what she calls 'the mysterious management by the civil service of its ministers' and what she makes of the rumours that she could be sacked in an upcoming reshuffle.
Time to break the menopause taboo
Women of menopausal age make up a tenth of the UK workforce (and a quarter of all working women). The symptoms of menopause can make work much harder, they include both physical and mental, from hot flushes and brain fog to insomnia. But at a time when many may be reaching the peak of their career, these symptoms can halt years of career progression. What’s more, the condition is stigmatised and little discussed.
Steps are being made to break this stigma. This year MPs introduced the first private member's bill on menopause and the government established a menopause task force. Employers are becoming ever more aware of things they could do to help these millions of women. What are the next steps?
To discuss this, Katy Balls is joined by Conservative MP Maria Caulfield, who’s also the minister for women’s health and co-chairs the government’s menopause taskforce; Jacqui Smith, a broadcaster and Home Secretary under Gordon Brown. She is also currently the chair of two NHS trusts. Finally, Michelle Blayney, chief culture and talent officer at Lloyds Banking Group.
This podcast is kindly sponsored by Lloyds Banking Group.
The Julie Bindel Edition
Julie Bindel is a radical feminist, journalist and activist. Leaving home at 15, she moved to Leeds in search of – in her own words - 'scary-sounding feminists'. Quickly she found her passions lay in fighting against prostitution, pornography and violence against women. She founded Justice for Women, a feminist campaigning organisation that supports, and advocates on behalf of, women who have fought back against or killed violent men. On the podcast, Julie speaks about growing up in the North-East of England, her fight in the gender ideology debate and shares her thoughts on Pretty Woman.
To read more on Julie Bindel visit her Substack page here.
Incredibly eye-opening and empowering. i look forward to every episode. thank you Katy and all guests, keep going 👏👏
As father of two girls I enjoy listening to the diverse and interesting women. I then pass on their stories on to my two daughters.
I always love listening to this podcast!