Female podcast hosts have always been around but the popularity of Serial (the most popular podcast ever), hosted by Sarah Koenig, has brought them to the forefront. Here are the best women-led podcasts out right now…
The world of podcasting was, for a long time, thought of as a predominantly male domain. However, following the roaring popularity of shows like Serial, hosted by Sarah Koenig, the female podcasters, who were always just as numerous as their male colleagues, are finally getting heard.
Adam Martin, director of content at the Swedish-based podcasting platform Acast says: “the popularity shift from male to female podcasters can be attributed to the fact that the industry as a whole is beginning to pay attention to female hosts, as opposed to the idea that there are simply more female podcasters. While female hosts have always been a presence in the podcasting sphere, they didn’t get picked up by major stations or networks, which chose to promote male fronted shows instead”.
For example, the Collisions Media List which listed 22 of the Most Influential People in Podcasting featured as many as 20 male hosts, which is the norm for the industry, despite the podcasting space being a diverse and disruptive space.
The growing popularity of female-hosted podcasts, spearheaded by the likes of Acast, Buzzfeed and Radiotopia has become apparent in the last two years. For instance, when Acast has looked at year-on-year Top 30 lists of podcasts hosted on its platform in the UK, the number of female podcasters increased by 200% from last year. The change has also been apparent globally, with the year-on-year numbers increasing by 63%.
As female podcast hosts are coming to the forefront of the industry, here are some fascinating, entertaining and insightful examples of podcasts hosted by women, on all topics from finance to education, employment and other topics dominating conversation worldwide:
Female Podcast Hosts
Ctrl Alt Delete
A new podcast by Hackney-based podcaster and author Emma Gannon about life growing up with the internet. Here, you’ll find conversations with brilliant guests who all have very unique stories to tell.
At the heart of every conversation will be how the internet and social media have changed our lives forever – and the lessons we’ve learned along the way.
Plug yourself in and listen to some inspiring conversations about friendship, feminism, #girlbosses, life, blogging, writing, books and more.
FT Mrs MoneyPenny
This is a new FT podcast with two UK-based female hosts. Mrs Moneypenny, beloved Financial Times columnist, and her editor interview the world’s most successful people in business, media, arts, entertainment, finance, academia and politics.
Like Sir David Attenborough, the intrepid duo ventures into their subjects’ natural habitat. In their quest to figure out how this rare species of homo erectus lives and works they corner plutocrats at Davos parties and hitch a ride with America’s most famous living feminist.
Fielding irreverent questions about serious FT topics from capitalism to work/life balance, they offer up a fair dollop of sometimes-humorous, but rarely solicited career and management advice along the way.
The Women’s Podcast
A podcast made by The Irish Times – ‘by women, for everyone’ – The Women’s Podcast leaves no stone unturned. It’s like Woman’s Hour – but the late night version. And then a bit later still. As in: they will cover anything and everything, and swearing is allowed.
Hosted by Irish Times journalist Róisín Ingle, interviews have included: Margaret Atwood, Julie Walters, Erica Jong and Laura Bates of Everyday Sexism. And subjects covered include: early menopause, sex, abortion law, women in publishing, domestic violence and friendship.
Women of the Hour
Lena Dunham – best known for writing, directing and starring in the US sitcom Girls, that has shaped a generation of young women (and told them it’s ok to not love your body, to swear, drink and fall out with your friends) – hosts Women of the Hour.
She covers much of the same content that we see in Girls – friendship, humour, body image, love and sex – but inviting in guests like Emma Stone, Ashley Ford, Todd Oldham, Amy Sedaris add a new dimension. If you like Girls, you’ll love this.
The Scummy Mummies
Comedy duo The Scummy Mummies host a fortnightly podcast for ‘less-than-perfect parents’, covering boobs, fannies and more serious parenting issues like postpartum psychosis.
Helen Thorn and Ellie Gibson met while doing standup in a shipping container in the depths of south London. They loved each other’s sets so agreed to go for a beer then soon after, launched The Scummy Mummies podcast. And it’s hilarious (as well as informative, and serious – at times).
They’ve been featured in The Guardian, the Telegraph, on Radio 4 and right here, on The Early Hour. The podcast launched in July 2013 and we went straight to number 1 in the iTunes Kids and Family charts in the UK and Australia. It also got into the top 20 in the general UK iTunes podcast charts.
At a time when women are facing inequality in the workplace, Joblogues is the perfect podcast to answer any career-related question you might have. It offers invaluable advice from professionals from all areas of work, from freelancers, to entrepreneurs, news anchors, PRs, photographers and others.
The podcast’s hosts Joymarie and Cortney upload weekly content, discussing everything from networking, to negotiating salaries, to making your voice heard in the workplace.
A podcast where a professor talks to her students about what is most important to them – from the ups and downs of college life to popular culture and social activism. Visit Office Hours – for things we don’t talk about in class.
What’s your experience of female podcast hosts – do you prefer them to males, like them less – or is it on an individual basis? And if you’re into them: who are your favourites?