Are women finding their digital voice?
The most popular podcast in the world, Serial, a gripping true-crime show, is hosted by Sarah Koenig and co-produced by Julie Snyder.
Newcomer to the download scene, science show Invisibilia, is fronted by Alix Spiegel and Lulu Miller.
So women are finding their digital voice, then? Well, sort of.
Men still dominate
Two years ago, podcast-delivery app Stitcher found that just 30 percent of their most popular podcasts were hosted by women. While things have improved, a scan of Stitcher’s top 100 list shows men still dominate.
Podcasts create an intimacy between the host and listeners. Women are good at forging close bonds in their daily lives, so why isn’t this translating into powerful podcasts?
1. Women often lack the confidence to be heard, according to podcaster Helen Zaltzman, host of The Allusionist: “When you rarely hear women on the airwaves, it kind of reinforces the idea that women don’t belong on the airwaves.”
2. More women gravitate to public broadcasting for job security because typically podcasters work for themselves and that deters working mothers.
3. Women have a fear of being in the spotlight. For example, stand-up comedy, a male bastion, is a fertile ground for podcasters such as Jarlath Regan of An Irishman Abroad fame.
Changing the game
But things are changing. More women producers and editors are coming out from the studio control room and stepping up to the mic.
On the Irish podcast scene Roisin Ingle is leading the way with her popular series Roisin Meets… while singer Lisa Hannigan co-hosts the culture show Soundings.
Podcasting can offer a new voice to women in business, as Forbes points out, it is a cost-effective way of marketing yourself or your product. It can also boost site traffic and sales while making you an expert in your field.
Who are your favourite podcasters?