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Nationwide Search Selects Inaugural Class For First-Ever Seneca Women Podcast Academy.

In a move to grow the number of women in front of podcast microphones, iHeartMedia and Seneca Women announced in March they were creating the first-ever Seneca Women Podcast Academy. Now they have named the ten women who have been chosen to take part in the initiative that will not only give them the technology and resources they need to create a show, but the expertise of successful women already at work in the medium.

The six-week intensive program will kick off in May and will include one lecture per week with direct access to industry-leading mentors, all women who are at the top of their respective fields in podcasting. The workshops will be led by established podcast hosts, producers and executives, allowing the winners to gain valuable information about all aspects of the podcast business including development, sound engineering, distribution, marketing, sales and overall operations. Creators will also receive a stipend and top-of-the-line audio equipment to produce episodes of their shows, which will all become part of the iHeart-distributed Seneca Women Podcast Network.

“If we want women to be part of designing our future, women’s voices need to be heard and women creators need to be supported,” says Kim Azzarelli, co-founder of Seneca Women, “which is why we are thrilled to announce the ten winners of Seneca Women to Hear and to be partnering with iHeartMedia to make sure their voices get heard.”

The women selected to take part have a range of show ideas, from comedic and personal to topical and informative, on subjects like health, finance and social justice issues. The winners and shows include: The Oh My God Particle Show! hosted by Dahlia Wilde; Making Our Trillions, hosted by Yvonne So; Memory Whisperer, hosted by Dana Territo; My Vagina Said What? hosted by Kris McDaniel and Andi Gordon; Your Financial Maven, hosted by Samantha Mittman Besnoff; Latinas Take the Lead, hosted by Naibe Reynoso; Uppity Knitter, hosted by Siedah Garrett; Hallmark Junkies, hosted by Jennifer Mitchell and Kerri Carpenter; FIN: Females In Podcast, hosted by Lola Omolola; and Aces Are Wild, hosted by Maddy Goshorn.

“iHeartMedia is proud to say that 50 percent of our new shows over the past 12 months are hosted by women. We want to continue that growth and we believe starting the Seneca Women Podcast Academy is an exciting next step toward changing the makeup of podcasting,” says Will Pearson, Chief Operating Officer of the iHeartPodcast Network. “These ten shows will only bolster our platform and we’re thrilled to offer these creators the space and support to become the next generation of influential podcasters.”

When the workshops begin next month, the Seneca Women Podcast Academy mentors will include Jo Piazza, award-winning journalist and host of shows like Under the Influence and Committed; Bridget Todd, Unbossed Creative Chief Executive and host of There Are No Girls On The Internet; and Dana Schwartz, an author and journalist who hosts the popular podcast Noble Blood; among other speakers.

Seneca Women, an online women’s rights community, launched the Seneca Women Podcast Network in 2020 with the support of Procter & Gamble, which is also backing the Seneca Women Podcast Academy.

Seneca Women has partnered with the iHeartPodcast Network since its launch to co-produce and distribute a slate of women-focused podcasts. The two groups say it focuses on a diverse range of topics that showcase positive role models, practical insights and shared learnings, while also providing a platform for the voices of established and emerging women leaders as well as organizations making a difference for women and girls.

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