8 Podcasts by Boss Women You Should Subscribe to ASAP
A version of this article previously appeared on Skillcrush, an online education program for creatives, thinkers, and makers that gives total tech newbies the tools to make major career changes.
Haele Wolfe, Skillcrush
Do you have a commute? How about a daily walk, trip to the gym, or meal prep time? Great news: That means you probably (definitely) have time to listen to a podcast or two. And while it can feel overwhelming to choose what shows to invest your time in, the good news is that there are a lot of great, free resources out there on the airwaves that will help you feel like you're doing career improvement work, no matter how packed your schedule is.
Today I'm focusing in on badass female bosses who are sharing their insights with the working world, each in the name of their own cause, but all to better your chances at career success. While these aren't all strictly business podcasts, they all have elements that could benefit any entrepreneur. Choose a few programs at random or work your way methodically down this list—just be sure to press play. Your next big breakthrough could be one car ride away!
1. Pitch Makeover
The brainchild of Pipeline Angels founder Natalia Oberti Noguera, Pitch Makeover features startup founders pitching their company concepts to Oberti Noguera, and then workshopping them on air with her. Both of Oberti Noguera's endeavors (Pipeline Angels and Pitch Makeover) are aimed at supporting founders who are women, non-binary people, and men of color—people who aren't typically given an opportunity to get help like this. Listen to this program for business-savvy insight and tools you can use to refine your own business pitch.
2. Being Boss
Hosted by business-owners Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson, Being Boss is an effort to continue the conversation about creative entrepreneurship in a practical, applicable way, so that listeners leave the episodes with action items—and a plan. Choose where you want to start based on topic or guest: Being Boss has had everyone from the founder of Yoni Eggs to the force behind a technical copywriting kingdom. This podcast is perfect for anyone looking to learn business-savvy jargon in an entertaining way, while getting into nitty-gritty details like creative pricing and management style.
If you've ever wondered how startups work—from how to set a business model to what to do when you have an emotional breakdown—Startup is the ticket. The first season follows the actual beginning of now-podcast giant Gimlet media, capturing the growing pains of building a business. Now in its third season and hosted by Lisa Chow, the show is tackling different companies as they get off the ground, and has also inspired a sitcom that was picked up by ABC. Listen to this podcast for insight you never knew you needed about the world behind wheeling and dealing in the startup world, and to get a seat at the table with entrepreneurs who are building the next big thing.
4. Stuff Mom Never Told You
If it's a noteworthy topic for the modern woman, Stuff Mom Never Told You probably has an episode about it. Hosts Bridget Todd and Emilie Aries have been recording twice a week since 2009 and have even interviewed a certain Skillcrush CEO. Listen to this podcast for insight on common sense problems you'd think somebody should have taught you about, but definitely didn't.
5. The Broad Experience
Billed as a "conversation about women, the workplace, and success," The Broad Experience is thought-provoking and relevant. Host Ashley Milne-Tyte is a public radio vet with a background in journalism who releases one to two episodes every month. She's received widespread praise for the focus in content and high production level of Broad Experience, and tackles topics in the workplace like sexual harassment, hiring, being an assistant, and more. Listen to this show for a sharp take on career topics that will feel both new and familiar as each episode unfolds.
6. The Jess Lively Show
Lively has been an entrepreneur for most of her life, and is passionate about helping others find a financially viable and fulfilling lifestyle on her eponymous podcast. Choose where to start by clicking on topics like, career, money, or simplifying—and this is the perfect podcast for freelancers just getting started.
7. Call Your Girlfriend
Call Your Girlfriend is absolutely delightful and delivers compelling, relevant content. Long-distance best friends Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman call each other on the phone every week to catch up on politics, work, current events, and more—and they invite you to join the conversation.
Listen to CYG for excellent takes on life, business, pop culture, and the news of the week. And if you're looking for something to bring up the next time you're networking, CYG is the answer.
8. Hit Refresh
I'd be remise if I didn't mention our absolutely fantastic podcast Hit Refresh, where Skillcrush CEO & Founder Adda Birnir covers all aspects of changing careers and joining the tech world outside of Silicon Valley. Despite being admittedly biased (I'm a producer on the show), I'm so proud of the show. We cover broad-reaching topics that impact all of us, like a workforce that's more flexible in the future, sexual harassment in the workplace, and transparency at work. Tune in for serious real talk about running a company, the work being done to build a better, more inclusive tech world, and information about how make career changes—no college degree required.
It's been six years since Sarah Cooper graced us with her 10 Tricks to Appear Smart in Meetings. But how on earth can we appear smart in our new virtual world, in which for many of us, going to work is just sitting in one long series of probably-not-necessary Zoom meetings?
1. Dial in.<p>Dialing in rather than joining via the link instantly boosts your credibility. Who calls into Zoom meetings? People who are still busy and important enough to be leaving their houses! But you needn't actually be one of those people, or even more than a foot away from your computer to pull off this maneuver. (Remember, this article is called *seeming* smart, not being smart.)</p><p><strong></strong><em>Bonus: </em>If it's a large meeting at which attendance will be taken, the person running the meeting will inevitably ask, "Who's calling in from 443-322-2121?" That's when you raise your metaphorical hand, jump off mute, and say "[Your name] here. Really looking forward to hearing your perspective on [meeting topic]." And voila! You've stolen the meeting spotlight.</p>
2. Don't come on camera—ever.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODU5OS9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjMwNjI3OX0.4fLyq2CvkZAJ7n_03esZepY37mOdyGdDdTEUYt5XEU0/img.png?width=980" id="bc7e6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fbbf21cc5d8c863b30654ae6993b04f5" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>Much like the "dial in," this technique works because it makes you appear aloof. If <em>The Crown has </em>taught me anything, it's that the key to maintaining a sense of mystique and prestige is to keep people at arm's length—and if you absolutely <em>must</em> touch them, wear a glove.</p>
3. Only communicate via chat.<p>Once you've mastered the art of staying off camera, you can level up by communicating exclusively via the chat box. Don't come off mute at all, even if the speaker asks your opinion. You are the elusive chatter and you will not be forced into actually participating in said meeting.</p>
4. Ask to share your screen.<p>Being aloof is great, but it's all about balance. Sprinkling in some active participation will really shock and impress your colleagues if you catch them off guard, so save this technique for when you've strategically <em>not </em>participated in a string of meetings.</p><p>Spend a few minutes prior to the meeting prepping a few inspirational slides with words like "synergy," "optimization," and "redefining 'culture'", or spend a few minutes poking around in Google Analytics. </p><p>Then wait for the opportune moment to say, "Can I just share my screen for a moment? I have some really interesting data I'd like to share...." and BAM — brilliance established.</p>
5. Show off your Zoom-saviness.<p>Try saying, "You know you can mute people, right?" to the host when they beg whoever's got the lawn mower and crying baby in the background to put themselves on mute for the nth time.<br></p>
6. Create an alter ego.<p>This tactic requires commitment, but the pay off is certainly worth it. Join the Zoom meeting from your normal account + name, and then join it again on a second device from an alias. Have your alter-ego ask some probing or stat-based questions in the chat and have the answers ready ahead of time. It should work something like this:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Your alter ego Charlene</strong><strong>:</strong> "Does anyone know what percentage conversion rates increased by in Q2?"</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;"><strong>Real you</strong>: *doesn't miss a beat* "It looks like Charlene has a question in the chat. That would be 36%."</p><div>Never mind that no one on your team knows who Charlene is or why she's at this meeting, they'll be too blown away by your brilliance to notice. (Bonus points if you use this strategy in conjunction with techniques 1, 2, 3 or 4!)</div>
7. Place an obscure object in your background that exudes intelligence.<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQ0ODYxOC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwNzk5Njg2Mn0.V9_-3Ij3v_QndseqlrXRt5Nn39EJ97-itjls5zzYPf8/img.png?width=980" id="a369d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="604a2f04b53c2e3bc801bfa5256f367b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><br></p><p>We're talking a telescope, or perhaps a hardcover copy of <em>War & Peace </em>(no one need know that its only purpose in your life is as a makeshift yoga block).</p><p>If you don't have any suitable props at your disposal, do not despair: download some screenshots of Sheldon's apartment from <em>Big Bang Theory </em>or the chalkboard in <em>Good Will Hunting </em>and use those as a virtual background.</p>
8. Ask "Is this really the best course of action given the current climate?"<p>Economic collapse, COVID, racism… No need to specify whether you're referring to one or all of the above; just sit back and watch your boss squirm amidst the ambiguity.</p><p>This strategy pairs very well with techniques 2 and 3. You can prep additional vague-but-probing questions ahead of time and pepper them into the chat box throughout the meeting:</p><ul><li>How will this scale?</li><li>Do we really have the bandwidth for this right now?</li><li>What's the value-add here?</li></ul>
9. Remind everyone that you have a paid Zoom account.<p>"Oh, it looks like we're getting the 40-minute warning. I have a paid account, do you want to switch to my room?" It's helpful, with just a touch of condescension. Everyone knows condescending people are smart. And everyone knows that people with paid Zoom accounts are super important.</p>
10. Tell everyone you have a hard stop.<p>When pressed for details, share your philosophy on "work-from-home" balance and how committed you are to getting up once an hour to walk to your refrigerator.</p>
11. Ask the screensharer/host to "pull something up" for everyone.<p>Ask the presenter to navigate to a screen that only you know how to navigate well. Laugh maniacally while they suffer from crippling performance anxiety. Let them struggle for as long as is tolerable before saying, "Oh you know what? I can just share my screen if you want. That would probably be easier." BAM you're the hero. Don't worry, no one will even pause to consider that you could have proposed this course of action from the start.</p>
12. Say Zoom fatigue as many times as possible.<p>If you're too tired to employ any of the other strategies, just say "I know everyone is experiencing a lot of Zoom fatigue, so we can keep this meeting short." Then hang up as quickly as possible. Meeting averted! </p><p>After all, there's no better way to demonstrate your intelligence in a virtual meeting than to demonstrate why it wasn't really necessary in the first place. </p>
I sat in front of my CEO to discuss several complaints of racism. I was new to my role as a Culture Director. I was nervous about his reaction to the complaints. But I also knew he strongly supported developing this new department; I knew that he would take the right steps. So I was shocked when I heard him say sheepishly, "I don't know, Noelle...all of this stuff about racism. I just don't see it. I don't even see color. I'm pretty much color blind."
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