IWD: Women in podcasting

IWD: Women in podcasting

< Back to Articles | Topics: Special Feature


Mina Atia
Communications Coordinator

International Women's Day (IWD) falls on the eighth day of March, when we also celebrate Women's History Month. It’s a day dedicated to celebrating and honouring the trailblazers and those continuing the fight for equality. These ambitious women pave the way for a new generation of leaders. Spanning across industries, disciplines and passions, they inspire us and challenge us to reflect on women’s experiences across the globe.

While radio and TV were male dominated for decades, we have ushered in a new era of podcasts where women’s voices are being amplified. Growing in popularity in most places, Halifax boasts its own tight-knit podcast community.

In celebration of IWD, three women in that community are hosting a special episode together. Titled 'The Power of Our Voices — Empowering Female Podcasters', it acknowledges women in podcasting under the theme of ‘Women in Leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.’

Business Voice got in touch with them about their podcasts. They are uplifting, educational and provide a platform for unheard voices to tell stories, share lived-in experiences, start conversations and make life-long connections.

Martina Kelades of Life out Loud, Sarah Murphy and Ashley Kielbratowski of Harbr are all entrepreneurs with growing and thriving businesses. Craving a creative outlet to stretch their skills and develop, they started their own podcasts while holding full-time jobs. The podcasts allowed them to become creators who share wisdom and bring on new voices to help encourage, inspire and empower others.

Ashley Kielbratowski (FAR RIGHT) is Co-Creator and Co-Host of Rival & Queen Podcast and the Co-Founder & CGO of Harbr, a software company in Halifax.

Women take on podcasting

“Sarah and I were both interested in doing something that didn’t carry the same stress or responsibility as our work did,” says Kielbratowski, Co-Creator and Co-Host of Rival & Queen Podcast.

“We wanted a space where we could just be ourselves and create whatever we wanted.”

Every Thursday, the lifestyle podcasters’ mission is to elevate lives in many ways. The cohosts discover new topics, delve in deeper and get inspired by people from all walks of life.

“We love learning about the cool things that people are doing, especially here in Nova Scotia,” says Kielbratowski. “This was a way for us to connect further with others who are doing exciting things and inspiring us.”

Podcasting has provided so many people in the past decade or so with platforms to find their voice and to share them with their communities. “We all believe there is so much value in lived experiences, and such an opportunity to learn from others,” says Murphy, Co-Creator and Co-Host of Rival & Queen Podcast.

“Being a woman in podcast is incredible! We have learned so much, created bonds with every guest,” says Kielbratowski. She highlights an emerging community in Halifax of podcaster women that is exciting to be part of and see it grow.

“There is room for everyone; we all have different visions and goals,” she says. “So, it’s nice to support each other and we can’t wait to see what comes next.”

Sarah Murphy (BOTTOM MIDDLE) is Co-Creator and Co-Host of Rival & Queen Podcast and a Co-Author at genderdiversitypledge.com, the pledge to build more diverse organizations.

The significance of podcasts and what’s next

The cohosts often joke about wanting to be friends with more people. Their podcast offers them an incredible approach to connect with their guests on a whole other level.

“It really creates a special community and bond that couldn’t have been created elsewhere,” says Kielbratowski.

“We have built an incredible network locally and throughout North America, and each episode is a chance for us to grow personally and as a podcast.”

Rival & Queen fosters a safe space where the cohosts, as well as their guests, are able to use the platform for authentic storytelling and personal narratives.

“Personally, the reward is the opportunity we’ve created to meet and spend time with really interesting people,” says Kielbratowski. “That has pushed us to ask anyone to come on the show and the worst they can say is no.”

Kielbratowski and Murphy learned a valuable lesson about their ability to do the work behind the scenes and on the mic. They leave the editing to Producer Marc Boudreau from BNV Media, but beforehand Murphy was the star behind all the editing.

“We also value being consistent and professional,” says Kielbratowski. “Although our content is fun and relaxed, we take what we do seriously and value people’s time and focus on making them feel prepared and comfortable for our show.”

There are huge benefits to listening and learning from others’ experiences, especially when they bring up topics that may seem taboo for radio.

“One of the things that I love about The Life of Loud podcast is its focus on an often private topic like mental health,” says Murphy.

“Martina does such a great job of creating a safe space for honest conversation and it reminds me it’s good to bring those conversations up with others, which inevitably leads to really meaningful human connection.”

Podcasts have been known to expand on topics and viewpoints. This is only possible in a space where people feel safe in having conversations, are willing to listen and comfortable responding in a collaborative format--all of which leads to stronger if not better connections across the board.

“Those connections pour over into our day-to-day life,” says Murphy. “We learn so much from our collaborations with guests and other podcasters; it leads to really deep friendships and networks where we can support each other.”

Kelades looks forward the most to making conversations and connections, which are the two main reasons why she started Life Out Loud Podcast. The mental health podcast offers a professional and specialized platform to expand on conversations about wellness at work, in personal lives and in daily living.

“There is so much power in our stories, and each of us brings unique life experiences and insight,” says Kelades. “I’m also excited to have the chance to meet some of the other BNV female podcast hosts and learn about them and from them as women building our podcast brands.”

Martina Kelades (LEFT) is Founder of Life Out Loud Podcast and Life Out Loud–Mental Health Consulting & Creatives—a business incorporating creative platforms for training, and education to promote mental health in the workplace and in life in general.

International Women’s Day and diversity

Studies show that only 20 per cent of podcast hosts are women--it’s a big underrepresentation. “Of course, as women, we are inching our way to closing the gender gaps, but there's still lots more work to do, especially when it comes to sponsorship and compensation disparities,” says Kielbratowski.

Kelades celebrates IWD by commemorating and recognizing the accomplishments of the many women in her life and honouring their contributions towards creating a world of gender equality.

“I reflect on the journey that we have travelled as women,” she says. “Acknowledging the many challenges that women before me have faced and how they have overcome barriers and broke through glass ceilings and providing more opportunities for the future of women.”

Diversity for these women podcasters means different voices are offered a platform to express their ideas, their perspectives and share their lived experiences. “We place priority on giving people from different backgrounds, ethnicities and experiences a place to share their stories and their unique magic with the world,” says Murphy.

Rival & Queen co-creators have made a conscious decision to ensure diversity is brought into their work and to the audience through their guests. They have invited Siera Bearchell of Universally Judged Podcast, Taye Landry of The Taye Anita Show, Grace McNutt and Linnea Swinimer of Minute Women Podcast, Jessica Beauchamp of Strong Feelings Podcast, Wendy Sparks of Court-Side Moms Podcast and Jean-eva Dickie of Book of Love Podcast on the upcoming episode.

These guests will share their own stories in celebration of IWD. They will talk about diversity in podcasting but also in other fields that still lack representation.

“We are choosing to challenge by identifying gender biases and choosing to discover and celebrate women’s achievements,” says Kelades. ■

The upcoming episode will be pre-recorded and released on both platforms Rival & Queen Podcast and Life Out Loud Podcast on Monday, March 8. Don’t miss out and give it a listen!

< Back to Articles | Topics: Special Feature

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