13 Amazing Female Podcasters to Follow

by Grace Bonney

Last week I had 17 hours of traveling on my hands to and from DC and Philly, so I decided to catch up on my listening (and Chinese app playtime) and download some new podcast episodes to listen to on the ride. I found myself wanting to hear something different and unlike the shows that seem to get all the press these days, so I searched for shows hosted by women and women of color. I spent the trip not only discovering new and important stories and points of view, but feeling like I made a handful of new online friends to follow and learn from on a regular basis. Some of these are shows I’ve listened to for years (like JV Club and Hot Grease), and others are new favorites (like Pushing Hoops with Sticks), but each one is guaranteed to get you thinking and talking about the broader topics in not just the creative community, but life in general. So if you’d like to hear what these talented women are talking about (and what the amazing women they interview have to say, too), click through to read more about their shows and find where to listen online. xo, grace

Death, Sex and Money, Hosted by Anna Sale. Anna's podcast, which interviews people about the topics we all struggle to speak openly about, is about to celebrate it's one year anniversary and his been a major hit since it first hit WNYC's airwaves. Anna is not only an excellent interviewer, but one of the most thoughtful listeners on-air. Her show with W. Kamau Bell was my personal favorite, but pretty much every show tells a personal story that is worth listening to. (I also happened to grow up going to summer camp with Anna! She was just as impressive then, too.)
The JV Club, hosted by Janet Varney. Janet Varney happens to be one of the funniest people around, so when you combine her with some incredible female guests, speaking about what it was like to be a teenager, you're bound to get an excellent show. This has been a favorite of mine for years now and I love listening to such talented, accomplished women talk about those awkward years we ALL have in common.
Hot Grease, hosted by Nicole Taylor. We've had the pleasure of sharing some of Nicole's incredible recipes on DS before (Rose Pound Cake and Rice & Harissa Chickpeas), and her show was a regular listen for me (she's taking a break from podcasting right now). Nicole's podcast is dedicated to the American south and all the ways it interacts with (and influences) local food and culture in other places. There are over 160 episodes in her archives and it is most definitely worth working through them all.
Design Matters, hosted by Debbie Millman. Debbie is one of the smartest people in design and her show has been my personal gold standard for a while now. She is an excellent interviewer and it's so wonderful to have someone who's tackling more serious issues within the design community - and making me want to know more about all of the people I love and follow in the creative world.
Pushing Hoops with Sticks, hosted by Ayesha A. Siddiqi. There need to be more shows like this, period. Frankly, there aren't nearly as many female podcast hosts as there are men, and there aren't nearly as many hosts of color getting press as there are white women. I'm always searching out new shows hosted by people with different backgrounds and stories, and Ayesha's is my new favorite. Her show examines race (often within the creative community, like comedy and music) and does so in such an important and direct way. She only has two episodes so far, but this is destined to be one of my go-to listens.
Baby Geniuses, hosted by Lisa Hanawalt and Emily Heller. I used to work on the same floor as artist Lisa Hanawalt in Brooklyn and she was, hands down, one of the funniest artists I've ever (sort of) known. Her artwork always makes me laugh, so it's no surprise that she and her co-host, Emily Heller, host a hilarious show that invites interesting people to share interesting bits of knowledge they know.
Two Brown Girls, hosted by Fariha Roisin and Zeba Blay. Fariha and Zeba are writers and critics who dedicate each show to a mix of topics, ranging from culture politics to pop culture and style. I really enjoy when they delve into the topics that some people avoid (feminism, race, politics) and find their loose, conversational style a nice contrast to the sometimes slightly over-structured podcasts that seem to be all the rage.
The Kitchen Sisters (Davia Nelson & Nikki Silva). The Kitchen Sisters produce a show for NPR (which hasn't started back up for 2015 yet) and other content for public media across the country. With a long history in radio, these incredible women cover stories ranging from food to serious discussions of life and death (their special on the World Trade Center bombing was so moving). If you haven't listened to them yet, be sure to check out their archives on NPR to get started.
Strangers, hosted by Lea Thau. Lea is the former director of NPR's beloved Moth series, and her show is dedicated to the same concept - sharing personal stories that mean something to both the teller and the listener. I believe in and fully share her belief that everyone's life contains an interesting story (or many) worth sharing, so I love hearing real people share their tales of love, life and loss.
Black Girls Talking, hosted by Alesia, Fatima, Aurelia and Ramou. This round-table format show is both a fun and informative listen. Their show with Janet Mock was my absolute favorite, but every week there's a great topic to be discussed and several opinions to weigh in. It's the thoughtful, smart version of "The View" I think so many of us would love.
Rendered (formerly Destination DIY), hosted by Julie Sabatier. Julie's show is one of my go-to sources of regular design and "maker" talk online - and I love that she's tackling more serious issues lately. Her episode on Etsy going public was really interesting and if you like listening to the creative community, this show is for you.
Radio Cherry Bombe, hosted by Julia Turshen. I'm obviously biased because Julia happens to be my wife, but long before I ever met her, Julia was busy building an incredible career as a food writer and cook. She hosted the first two seasons of Radio Cherry bombe, which was dedicated to speaking with women in the food community (an often over-looked segment of the food world) to tell their incredible stories. I watched almost every show live from outside the radio door and I learned so much about strength, perseverance and ingenuity from these amazing women.
The Spin, hosted by Esther Armah: Esther's show launched last year and it's a fantastic weekly show that discusses race, politics, culture and personal stories with women of color. These women are experts in their given fields and to say I've learned a lot from this show would be a massive understatement.

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