In a move to grow the number of women in front of podcasting’s microphones, iHeartMedia and Seneca Women today launched a contest that will give ten breakout stars not only the technology they need to create a show, but the expertise of successful women already at work in the medium.
“Women’s voices need to be heard, and now they can be,” said Kim Azzarelli, co-founder of Seneca Women. “We want to empower more women to make their voices heard with Seneca Women to Hear: The Search for the Next Great Female Podcasters. There are so many amazing women out there: women creators, innovators and entrepreneurs and we want the world to hear from them.”
Ten winners will be awarded top-of-the-line audio equipment and six weeks of specialized training at the Seneca Women Podcast Academy, followed by their own shows on the Seneca Women Podcast Network on iHeartMedia. Procter & Gamble and The Card by Seneca Women, powered by Mastercard and Deserve, are sponsoring the contest.
Seneca Women, an online women’s rights community, launched the Seneca Women Podcast Network in 2020 and with the support of Procter & Gamble. It partnered with the iHeartPodcast Network to co-produce and distribute a slate of women-focused podcasts.
The Search For the Next Great Female Podcasters will be highlighted during the much larger iHeartRadio’s SeeHer Hear Her celebration on March 8, which is International Women's Day. During a special day of programming across iHeart’s radio stations, on its iHeartRadio app, and across social media, the company is putting the focus on the global movement to eliminate gender bias in marketing, advertising, media and entertainment. It will include a special hour-long special that will stream online at 8pm ET featuring successful and influential artists in music with interviews from Alicia Keys, Maren Morris, and Avril Lavigne, as well as singer, author and host of the Checking In podcast, Michelle Williams.
“The show is all about seeing and hearing what it takes to succeed from the incredible women who are breaking the rules and breaking down the barriers in music and entertainment,” said iHeart Chief Marketing Officer Gayle Troberman. “It’s great entertainment, it's great storytelling, and it’s a rallying cry for every aspiring singer, songwriter, and performer to get started.”
To kick off the celebration, beginning today (March 1) iHeartMedia will launch an eight-day countdown to International Women’s Day across its radio stations in every format, on social media platforms and on iHeartRadio’s biggest podcasts.
Then on March 8, with “Women Take The Mic” – iHeartMedia’s most influential female personalities will host popular iHeartMedia radio shows throughout the day, having conversations about equality, inclusion and inspiration and sharing steps everyone can take to help more women be heard. That evening, from 5 - 6 p.m. local time, iHeartMedia broadcast radio stations will also devote the hour to playing the biggest hits and new music from today’s female artists and offer special playlists on the iHeartRadio app.
“Music has the ability to inspire people and that’s why SeeHer Hear Her, a key initiative in the SeeHer movement, is striving to eliminate gender bias in the music industry and increase the percentage of women in front of and behind the mic,” said SeeHer President Jeannine Shao Collins. “For a second year in a row, we are proud to partner with iHeartRadio and bring awareness to these issues with real scale on International Women’s Day, while also celebrating female trailblazers in the industry. This is an important step towards progress to ensuring the music world sees and hears her.”
SeeHer was launched in 2019 in an initiative spearheaded by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) that aims to eliminate gender bias in marketing, advertising, media and entertainment.
“More women need to feel seen, heard and represented in media, music, and culture today – which is why we’re excited to partner with SeeHer on International Women’s Day and beyond to share the wins and celebrate what’s possible, in order to inspire a generation of young women to follow their dreams,” said Troberman.