Since the early 2000s, podcasts have been gaining in popularity as an alternative, relatively inexpensive way to disseminate information. While 2021 looks set to be the biggest year yet in podcasting yet, there are still important gender differences between hosts and listeners.
For starters, the role of the podcast host has traditionally been held by men. A study carried out by Thomson Reuters outlined that only one-out-of-three of the top 100 podcast shows on Apple were hosted or co-hosted by women.  This may be in large part because they mirror a traditional medium of audio commentary – radio – which has and remains today a traditionally-male-dominated structure. And although women continue to be underrepresented in the podcasting sphere, women excel in the space.
The beauty of any podcast is the freedom that a host has in producing its content. A lack of diversity within the sphere means that we’re missing out on unique perspectives and different narratives that add value and help shape our understanding of various topics. Diversity in the space ultimately broadens our horizons, helps us grow, and enables us to challenge and form new ideas about how we see the world.
Podcasts are providing a space where women can take the lead.
Additionally, podcasts are often niche, often independently produced, and the best podcasts are unfiltered. This can make it difficult for a new podcast to attract listeners at the beginning of any new show, but specifically for women, it’s arguably the medium’s biggest strength.
The truth is that podcasts have influence, and stories matter. Having a safe and honest environment where anyone can speak freely, listen and engage with one another about a variety of topics – an opportunity they may not have had the opportunity to do before – is not only liberating, but necessary. Most importantly, listeners regardless of sex can engage with women-led narratives and develop an intimate relationship with the host.
A good podcast is less like a news reporter talking at you, and more like a trustworthy friend sharing their experiences in your ear. Great podcasts offer content that is smart, funny, and emotionally honest – this combination makes for great listening.
While there remains a long way to go before we see women equally represented in what still is a white-male-dominated space, podcasts are providing an alternative, intimate space for new voices to be heard. Daily, at the touch of a button, people all over the world can engage with topics that may once have been unreachable, or listen to new perspectives that were previously not considered. The future of women and podcasts is very exciting, one we look forward to supporting and sharing on our unique platform.
If you haven’t already checked her out, be sure to catch the charismatic Ariane Andrew as her and the one and only Matt Dillon break it down with celeb guests on their hit podcast Sippin’ the Tea.
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 Taylor L. Thomson Reuters Foundation. Podcasts are dominated by male voices, these women want to change that. World Economic Forum 2018 Dec 7 [cited 2020 Jul 9]. Available from: www.weforum.org/agenda/2018/12/podcasts-are-dominated-by-male-voices-these-women-want-to-change-that/.