While talking to all the inspiring women who were guests in my podcast “Die Boss – Macht ist weiblich”, I realized that many of them face similar challenges in their professional and personal lives. I think it is key to talk about these obstacles publicly, so that other women can benefit from the lessons learned and experience women have already made. However, accepting the status quo and providing other women with the knowledge on how to cope best with these obstacles constructed by a patriarchal society is not enough – together with many others I want to transform our economic system towards one of gender equality. Part of this transformation is that women across all sectors – whether already in managing positions or on their way up, should become more present in public discourse. Being a guest in a podcast is the perfect way to start!
Why the format is so appealing
The key feature of a podcast is that only audio is recorded. This helps to emphasize the content and simplifies the tense situation of speaking publicly both for guests and hosts. Camera-shyness is no longer a problem, and it is easy to keep the spirit of a real dialogue. Podcasting allows the conversation partners to deal with subjects in depth and to immerse in a real conversation without any distraction – leading to valuable insights. The time it takes to prepare for a podcast and to record a conversation fits even into a tight schedule.
Thanks to the rather private atmosphere, a podcast is the perfect setting for guests to show their personality. A podcast gives you the stage to position yourself and communicate your future projects. Many women still do not have the courage to ask for a higher position – I think that is something we urgently must change! Women talking about career objectives, leadership skills and struggles inspire other women to advance their careers and to make the presence of women in executive positions the norm. I want to encourage women who currently hesitate to be a guest in a podcast or in a TV show or who are restrained to speak at a life conference, to accept the invitation – or even – ask for a seat at the podcasting table – and to share their personal experience. Maybe one of you would even like to start your own podcast series?
The podcast as a networking platform
Podcasts such as the one I am currently hosting serve as a nodal point for networking. Women from all fields gain meaningful information when women in leadership positions talk openly about the hurdles they had to overcome or give some pieces of advice. Belén Garijo (CEO Merck) told me about one of her obstacles and how she tries to protect others from it: moving frequently in the course of a new job poses a real burden for a family with children, as she experienced herself several times. This is the reason why she assesses carefully whether it is really necessary for managers to move for their new job considering the progress of remote work these days.
In another podcast episode I talked to Julia Jäkel about the growing solidarity among women. Podcasts are one option to show this solidarity and to support each other. Position yourself as an expert! Tell others your story! Concrete examples demonstrate which positions of power women are holding today, and which places are still to be conquered. Stop hesitating and take the stage!