Podcasting is a creative medium unlike any other because the barriers to access, for anybody, are very low. Nobody has to wait for permission to create and release a podcast; gatekeepers need not apply! If you’ve got a mic, a recorder, a topic you are dying to talk about, and a hosting account (check out the full line of Blubrry’s hosting options for the first time podcaster all the way up to the full-time professional), you can drop your pod anytime, and from anywhere. With the ease of production, the popularity of podcasts continually on the rise, and the demand for content at an all time high, it should be no surprise that many people are trying to make their mark in the podcasting landscape. And the fastest growing demographic in the space — is women. Heck yeah, ladies! Grab those mics!
If the current pace of female listeners, hosts and production professionals keeps up, there’s no doubt that women will soon be the majority of listeners and creators in podcasting. This isn’t just a cool stat to make the podcasting community pat themselves on the back for not being like every other male-dominated industry in the world. There are many obvious, and not so obvious, reasons that women are well positioned to succeed in podcasting.
To put it bluntly, women are better at listening. In various studies, and as evidenced at happy hours and Sunday brunches all around the world, women are conditioned to listen, engage and empathize. Empathy requires emotional connection and active listening. As Corine Jansen asserts, “Women tend to understand the emotional parts of messages more effectively than men.” Podcasting is nothing if not about conveying emotional and informational messages, connection and engagement.
Women also have more close friendships than men do. There is so much to gain from close, non-romantic relationships and women tend to maintain these friendships in deeper, more emotionally invested ways than men do. Many people who regularly listen to podcasts often say they listen because they feel like they know the podcast host personally — not unlike a close friendship. There’s an intimacy in podcasting because most people listen to podcasts on their own instead of sharing it with a group, like at a concert. Podcasts can be very personal for listeners and women understand the emotional significance of how their content impacts their listeners.
The portability of producing podcasts also lends itself to women who might be juggling many roles in life, like spouse, mom and/or career commitments. If you take the popularity of “Mom-Casting” alone, women are totally dominating the space! Podcasting can accommodate any schedule, location and lifestyle. From a podcast creator to a podcast listener, having the power and freedom to enjoy the medium on your own time, and make your own rules, is everything.
Another element that some might scoff at, but let’s face it, is true—women are better at commitment. Women are down for, “ride or die” friendships; just ask any woman who has dated a guy in a band. The good news is that when women transfer that passionate, committed, energy into podcasting, they will be rewarded with enjoyable content, instead of being left with the bar tabs of drunk punk rockers.
The real question from everyone who loves and makes podcasts, is what can we do to support this trend that not only supports women, but all people in podcasting? The more women and people of color who participate in podcasting, the better all podcasts are. Diversity of thought, opinion and experiences is crucial to setting podcasting apart from other forms of media. If we only listen to only the voices that support our own opinions, and don’t challenge ourselves to grow our own perspectives, what’s the point of podcasting at all?
One great way to support women in podcasting is by subscribing to any of these amazing 111 Podcasts. Leave them feedback! Share them with your friends! Tweet them compliments! (Maybe that last one is just for me.)
If you’re a female podcaster looking to expand your network, join the amazing group She Podcasts. Members of the group include podcasters from every walk of life, every stage of production, and are passionate about supporting one another.
At the end of the day, women don’t need to dominate podcasting. But let’s hope they want to.
Written by: Tara Jean O’Brien
Tara Jean O’Brien has been a writer, actor, improviser, podcaster, and stand-up for nearly 800 years. When not producing, editing, and hosting her podcast, Single Vs. Married, or co-hosting, Cinema Craptaculus Presents: B-sides, she also writes on Medium and recently found a floor safe hidden in her coat closet.