The Podcast Show 2024: Powerhouse women in podcasting

On 22nd May at The Podcast Show, Startups Magazine attended a panel including, Vogue Williams, host of My Therapist Ghosted Me, Grace Beverley, host of Working Hard, Hardly Working, Audrey Indome and Tolani Shoneye co-hosts of The Receipts Podcast, as they explored how important powerhouse woman are in the audio industry. Shining a light on the significance of sisterhood, the necessity for safe spaces, and how bigger corporates and advertiser can help female hosts to reach female listeners.

Sisterhood and community within podcasting

Indome started the conversation off saying how critical it is that women have podcasting as a safe space. Stating, “That was the whole mantra behind starting The Receipts Podcast. We wanted to create a safe space for black and brown women to have their say, to hear their experiences, and hear their stories. Without the sisterhood, there really is no podcast. I think it's a beautiful extension of what we do.”

Shoneye then added how they started the podcast without considering the male glaze. Saying, “of course you can listen, and we’d love for you to listen, but its not guided to you, it’s not handed to you.” Adding how important it is to have that space for women and say, “hey, you’re safe here.”

With Williams adding, “Through podcasts you get to know people so much better than you would if you just watched them online.”


Visual aspect of podcasting

Video has become such a big aspect within podcasting over the last twelve monthsMaking sure you have the right set up and the right clips to cut for social media – all to reach a bigger audience then you would with just audio.

Grace Beverley started this conversation by saying her one condition when re-starting her podcast was that she wanted video to be part of it. Saying, “One of the main reasons for that is that everything is so visual now. As a platform, podcasting is less visual than social media, but the way you reach people and the way you talk to people and the way you amplify that sense of community and what you're saying within a podcast, it really has to be visual.”

Adding, “There's an existing community of people out there. When we're talking about reaching more people, if we're going cross platform in any way, that has to have a visual sense to it to be able to resonate with more people.”

Shoneye then added how she has always been a podcast fan and that she is a listener, rather than a watcher when it comes to them, saying “it's an experience that goes with me on the go.”

But also went onto say that “I think there is the fear now to starting a new podcast as you're seeing the levels of what everything is now, but need to remember these levels are eight years in the making this and we didn't start like this.”

Amplifying female voices

The conversation then moved onto the females within in the industry, asking the panel “what more do you want to see for major platforms to amplify female voices?”

Shoneye started with, “The support we need in this industry is money, money to be able to have a production company, to be able to have visuals, to be able to do things on socials. And it's money from the big players and brands.”

With Grace adding, “One of the big issues that I think we can see reflected in any bigger form of media, which podcasting has become is the fact that when a woman does something, it's for women, when a man does something, it's for men and women, and that therefore naturally halves the accessible audience and what that means is that the reach, the income, the revenue, and the sponsorship, all of these things that relate to how far a podcast can go, is very capped. Which is why there needs to be backing in order to be able to level that playing field.”

Brands advertising with podcasts

Williams starts the conversation saying how advertising is changing so much, and podcasting is a huge opportunity for brands to reach the right audience.

With Grace adding, “If you think of the way people consume podcasts, I personally believe they are so much more engaged than on any other form of social media. An advert on a TikTok or Instagram, people are actively moving through that, with no aim to linger or pay attention. Whereas with a podcast, you've made a decision to consume that content and that gives us great space for people to absorb the information because they have decided to do so.”

Indome then added brands not being tapped into podcasts would be a bad idea because things host talks about are so natural for the audience to listen to. Plus, the audience of podcasts build a trust with that host, meaning if they recommend or suggest something, they will most likely agree and go out and try it. Making conversion rates so much more successful.

In this powerhouse panel we learnt that the podcast industry has become a community for women to feel safe and be open to talking about certain topics. However, brands and corporates still need to invest more money into female voices outside of International Women’s Day, as the audience they grow and bring to the industry is so critical.