Inspirational Woman: Hazel Steward | Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, BINJ

Hazel StewardI have been in the entertainment industry for over 20 years.

Born in the UK, I spent 10 years at Sky TV in London, was part of Liz Murdoch’s team launching Sky One, their flagship entertainment channel where I went on be a Producer, an Exec Producer and part of the Commissioning team.  I moved to LA in 2006 and ran large development departments selling shows to the usual suspects: ABC, CBS, NBC, and all cable broadcasters.  I then jumped in to the digital space, launching original programming on the leading fashion style and beauty MCN on Youtube, Stylehaul.  From there, enjoying the taste of digital I subsequently went  on to launch a number of digital platforms in the OOH, OTT, shoppable entertainment, celebrity, social, content space.   

I met my Co-founder/CEO of BINJ, at a digital platform we were both part of, his AI/Data/Tech genius matched with my entertainment and content experience made for a great partnership and BINJ was born.  I am currently Co-Founder/COO of Binj.  Very exciting.  Looking to launch Q1 2022.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career? 

I did not plan my career at all.  I always thought I want to be a bilinguist/interpretor funnily enough.  Unitl at some point I realized I wanted to be very much part of the world of content and where better to be than Los Angeles, Hollywood.  

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

We all face challenges along the way, especially as a LGBTQ female in a very male dominated corporate world.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Following my heart, moving to LA, surrounding myself with some of the most impressive and successful people and making a real career of it. 

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?  

Being determined, not taking no for an answer. Learning that NO is the beginning of YES!

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee? 

Anybody who has worked with or for me has always told me they felt mentored and have learnt a great deal from me.  I myself have always been hungry to learn, I would always call myself a sponge, absorbing as much life and professional experience as I possibly could in order to succeed. IN turn, I like to pass that forward to the smart, hungry ones coming up in the entertainment industry, chomping at my heals to succeed. 

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?

To make sure that we, as women, educate more men and men who hold powerful positions to drive gender equality. We often think it should be us, as women and minorities to stand up and make a noise. But what would make bring gender equality so much faster would be for those CEO’s who are men, and I know many, to actually take on a role of Chief Diversity Officers as well. That would accelerate it no end.

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Fear is a liar. Be fearless and go after everything you ever dream.  Manifest and believe it can happen and it will.  The entertainment and tech industry has changed enormously, and with that women are finally being taken seriously as achieving great success.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future? 

The next challenge is launching BINJ and scaling the platform. Creating an unbiased, disruptive solution to a global content problem.  Binj is Simplifying what to watch. 

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