Seneca Women, an online women’s rights community, launched the Seneca Women Podcast Network in January with the support of Procter & Gamble. Now it’s teaming up with the iHeartPodcast Network to co-produce and distribute a slate of women-focused podcasts on subjects such as business, leadership, current events and health. Their stated goal is to create content that is inspiring, purpose-driven and actionable from a diverse range of women’s voices.
“The launch of the Seneca Women Podcast Network and this new partnership with iHeartMedia, will help accelerate women’s progress, as we believe progress for women is progress for all,” said Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Chair and Co-Founder of Seneca Women.
The alliance will also feature a broadcast radio component. Podcasts produced will be part of the “Sunday Night Podcast” series across iHeartMedia broadcast stations nationwide throughout March honoring Women’s History Month, exposing the stories to millions of radio listeners across the country.
“Through our massive network and national reach, we’re thrilled to partner with the Seneca Women Podcast Network to help amplify the voices of women in podcasting and around the world – and we can’t wait to bring to our listeners the remarkable stories that this team has assembled,” said Conal Byrne, President of the iHeartPodcast Network. “Podcasting is a relatively new medium and, as such, we have a chance to build it the right way, with a fair balance of creators and voices, from the beginning.”
The announcement comes just days after iHeartMedia set a goal of investing half of its production on new shows and slates to come from diverse creators, including women, African Americans, and Hispanics.
As part of the alliance, iHeart will now co-produce the podcast series Conversations on Power and Purpose hosted by Ambassador Melanne Verveer and Kim Azzarelli. The show on Monday began releasing its 19-episode season. It features conversations with leaders who are using their power for purpose to accelerate women while building a better world, including conversations with such people as Tory Burch, Arianna Huffington, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Katie Couric, UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and Grameen America CEO Andrea Jung.
“There has never been a more important time for women’s voices to be heard — especially in a year that is marking the 100th anniversary of American women’s suffrage,” said Kim Azzarelli, co-founder and CEO of Seneca Women. “Through this new partnership with iHeartMedia, we can amplify the voices of established and emerging women leaders and connect millions of women and men around the world with positive, purpose-driven and actionable content.”
The Seneca Women Podcast Network builds on its founders’ decades of experience in advancing women around the globe. It focuses on a diverse range of topics that showcase positive role models, practical insights and shared learnings, while providing a platform for the voices of established and emerging women leaders as well as organizations making a difference for women and girls. That caught the attention of Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, who 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 podcasting has allowed the company to get creative.
“Media can be a powerful force for good, and the Seneca Women Podcast Network and this partnership with iHeartMedia offers the opportunity to reinvent media with innovative, positive and quality content,” Pritchard said 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. Although women make up nearly half of podcast listeners, Azzarelli said in January that they see an opening since women’s voices are under-represented in the fast-growing podcast space with the new network. She said there’s still “a significant gap” in the “discovery and amplification of a diversity of women’s voices.”