March 8th marks International Women’s Day, bringing attention to the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
One of the truest ways to honor Women’s History Month is to be informed about the women who are shaping history today.
Listening about their lives through podcasts is one way to do just that.
The podcast section of popular streaming services is ground-zero for shows hosted by female leaders offering on-demand, binge-worthy content on a variety of topics. So whether you’re in-flight, driving home from work or lounging on the beach, there’s no shortage of projects choose from.
“It’s one those mediums that can go where you go,” said Michelle James, co-founder of “Cocktails & Cancer,” a podcast that launches on Wednesday. “Both women and men are on the go, we’re all busy. You can be commuting, at home or out-and-about and you can listen, and be transported into your own little world.”
The format of entertainment is seeing a steady rise in popularity that coincides with a general increase in digital media consumption.
Seventy percent of Americans are now familiar with the term “podcasting” and more than five in 10 have listened to a podcast themselves, according to Statista and Edison Research, an exit polling organization. In 2006, roughly 22 percent of people knew the term podcasting.
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Steady Rise of Podcasts (Photo: Edison Research and Statista)
Podcasts aren’t just boring hour-long conversations about topics that are too uninteresting to make it on television.
Whether you are 18 or 80, male or female, a free-spirited hippie or a strongly motivated business owner, there are options out there for you.
Some shows feature feminist-forward content. Others offer Women’s History Month specials – each providing a snapshot of women’s contributions to national conversations about important issues.
“Cocktails & Cancer,” for example, is guided by two media execs who happen to be friends. Michelle James (aka MJ) and Danielle Brown (aka Dani) discuss pop culture and wellness sprinkled with information about their personal struggles.
The show will be available on SoundCloud, Apple Music and cocktailsandcancer.com.
The podcast is backlit by James’ breast cancer diagnosis in 2015 and the journey the duo took that involved chemo, radiation treatment, and cocktails.
Cocktails & Cancer (Photo: MJ and Dani)
The spirits were doctor-approved. James is now cancer-free.
“A lot of our talk is really just about what we’re going through,” James said. “There are a lot of things we talk about that only girlfriends can relate to.”
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More podcasts to check out during Women’s History Month
“The History Chicks” – Every few weeks, Beckett Graham and Susan Vollenweider present an episode about a female from history. Subjects range from Cleopatra to Rosa Parks to Julia Child. Listen here.
“Invisibilia: The Callout,” NPR – What role does pain play in bringing about social change? Radio producer Alix Spiegel and writer Hanna Rosin address this complicated question while discussing the power of call-out culture, publicly denouncing perceived racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of bigotry. Listen here.
Hanna Rosin, left, and Alix Spiegel co-host the fourth season of NPR show and podcast ‘Invisibilia.’ (Photo: Stephen Voss/NPR)
“That’s What She Did” – Host Tangia Renee brings on women leaders, innovators and rebels you may have never heard of to discuss why they do what they do. Available on iTunes and Spotify.
“TBD with Tina Brown” – The weekly one-hour podcast is hosted by Tina Brown explores tomorrow’s social debates. Brown brings on actors, politicians, journalists, and the newsmakers of tomorrow’s social debates, including former presidential nominee Hillary Clinton. Available on iTunes and Spotify.
“2 Dope Queens” – Hosted by actress Jessica Williams and comedian Phoebe Robinson, the podcast aired between April and November 2018. Over their 49 episodes (and 20 bonus episodes), the “2 Dope Queens” podcast employed a largely female staff. The two discuss hair and politics, women, anger and motherhood. Michelle Obama even stops by. Listen here.
‘2 Dope Queens’ co-founders/hosts Jessica Williams, left, and Phoebe Robinson, are bringing their popular podcast to HBO. (Photo: Mindy Tucker/HBO)
“Therapy for Black Girls” – It’s a weekly conversation with Dr. Joy Harden Bradford, a licensed psychologist in Atlanta. Bradford discusses all things mental health and personal development. Listen here.
“Stuff Mom Never Told You” – Producer Bridget Todd and actress Anney Reese give a research-driven rundown of the challenges facing women today and throughout history. New episodes come out every Wednesday and Friday on iTunes.
“In The Thick” – Journalists of color tell you what you’re missing from the mainstream news. Co-hosted by award-winning journalists Maria Hinojosa and Julio Ricardo Varela, the hosts have conversations about race, identity and politics. Available on iTunes.
“She Did it Her Way” – Amanda Boleyn, an entrepreneur and business consultant, hosts this podcast for budding female entrepreneurs and business owners. The weekly podcast is home to content on productivity hacks, different business strategies, how to confidently transition out of a nine-to-five job, and become a full-time business owner. Listen here.
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