Procter & Gamble has made headlines in recent years as it returned dollars to broadcast radio and expanded its use of audio to include podcasts and streaming. P&G is now taking its embrace of podcasting to the next level as it has become a founding partner in a new podcast effort geared toward amplifying women’s voices around the world.
Seneca Women, an online women’s rights community, has launched the Seneca Women Podcast Network with the support of P&G. The new network will produce original shows while providing a platform for the voices of established and emerging women leaders as well as organizations making a difference for women and girls. “We are launching the Seneca Women Podcast Network to accelerate women’s progress, as we believe, progress for women is progress for all,” said Melanne Verveer, Chair and co-founder of Seneca Women.
Although women make up nearly half of podcast listeners, Kim Azzarelli, CEO and co-founder of the organization, said they see an opening since women’s voices are under-represented in the fast-growing podcast space. “Technology—in particular, podcasting—provides a unique opportunity to fast-forward progress for women around the world,” said Azzarelli. “We no longer need to travel by horse and buggy to advocate for women’s progress as our foremothers did, but the discovery and amplification of a diversity of women’s voices is still a significant gap that we can help address through the Seneca Women Podcast Network and app.”
Seneca Women launched its first podcast Conversations on Power and Purpose last September. It is hosted by the organization’s two founders, Melanne Verveer, the first U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues, and Azzarelli. The podcast has to date featured conversations with luminaries such as former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, fashion moguls Diane Von Furstenberg and Tory Burch, and businesswoman Arianna Huffington.
P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said on the latest episode of Math & Magic: Stories from the Frontiers of Marketing that the company’s embrace of podcasting was in response to changes in how consumers are spending their time. But he also noted that getting into new media like podcast has allowed the company to get creative. “We started to get into re-inventing advertising and content partnerships and new ways of doing things while still doing the fundamentals” he said.
On Math & Magic, Pritchard discussed P&G’s work with Queen Latifah and Katie Couric to diversify the role of women in its advertising—both on-air and off. The company has committed to having half of its TV commercials directed by women by 2023.
“Media can be a powerful force for good, and the Seneca Women Podcast Network offers the opportunity to reinvent media with innovative, positive, and quality content,” said Pritchard in a statement. “It’s time to ensure that the voices of women are finally and fully heard and amplified to help make the world a better and more inclusive place for all.”
P&G’s support of the Seneca Women Podcast Network is an extension of the brand’s earlier alliance with the organization. Carolyn Tastad, Group President - North America and Chief Sales Officer at P&G, said they’ve partnered for several years to change the narratives about women in the workplace and the world and shift the focus from “fixing the women” to fixing the bias and systems that can hold women back. “The Seneca Women Podcast Network provides an important new platform for conversations and content to help expose blind spots and embrace broader perspectives and solutions that can change the trajectory of gender equality and create a more equal world for everyone,” said Tastad.