These women-hosted podcasts inspire us to make, think, and stay creative.
Podcasts, like newsletters, have become all the rage over the past few years. Every day it seems like a new one is popping up, vying for our fleeting ears. In celebration of Women’s History Month, our community curated a collection of some of our favorite podcasts by creative women covering everything from photography, design, and visual culture to politics, comedy, and pop culture.
For convenience and consistency, we’re embedding links to listen to them on Apple, but most are available via Spotify and other fine podcast platforms….
Photographer/Photo Editor Sarah Jacobs and PhotoShelter co-founder Allen Murabayashi discuss photography’s intersection with culture and technology, from facial recognition to the photographers working with Beyoncé. Standout episodes include March 9th’s focus on Chanell Stone, whose series “Natura Negra” explores the relationship between land, nature, and African-Americans in an urban setting.
Every Thursday, senior editors Cori Murray and Charli Penn host ESSENCE’s Yes, Girl! Podcast. The award-nominated podcast unapologetically covers celebrity interviews and pop culture, uplifting inspiring people like Janelle Monae, Patti Labelle, Tracee Ellis Ross, and other individuals dedicated to celebrating Black culture.
Sasha Wolf, author of PhotoWork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice, continues her conversations with friends, photographers she represents, and photographers she has always wanted to speak with. Recent highlights include Zora J. Murff, Jillian Laub, Danielle Bowman, Elinor Carucci, Jess T. Dugan, and (sorry, we can’t speak impartially on this one!) The Luupe’s Jon Feinstein.
Hosted by Yoffy Press founder Jennifer Yoffy, Perfect Bound focuses on photographers and their creative journeys – how they got where they are, what right and wrong turns they made along the way, and where they’re heading next.
“I started Perfect Bound as a way to connect with photographers and build community during Covid,” says Yoffy. “I get a chance to have conversations with artists I admire, and hopefully people listening to the podcast will benefit from hearing about the artist’s journey. I’m learning a lot and getting inspired with every interview I do – I hope listeners are too.”
Launching just a few months ago, the first four podcasts are from Matt Eich, David Hilliard, Tabitha Soren, and Kris Graves.
Jenna Wortham and Wesley Morris host this weekly show about all aspects of contemporary culture, from TV, film, books, and music, to dating, the internet, and how it all connects. Highlights include conversations about Whitney Houston, and Aretha Franklin, the parallels and learnings from the AIDS pandemic, and MTV’s reality dating show “Are You The One.”
Photo Director Gem Fletcher (who we featured last May on The Luupe’s blog) hosts The Messy Truth, a star-studded podcast dedicated to the world of contemporary photography. Fletcher interviews emerging and leading artists, curators, and critics in candid conversations that dig deep into photography’s ability to connect us all. Recent highlights include Aperture’s Leslie A. Martin, Laia Abril, Sara Urbaez, Luupe photographer Michelle Groskopf, and Kimberly Drew. Follow Gem’s Instagram @gemfletcher for images of photographs discussed in each episode.
Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, has run for office twice and failed. But exercising her bravery muscle led her to create a nonprofit that’s reached 300,000 girls with its computer education programs and message of sisterhood. Reshma shows that real change comes from being brave, not perfect. Highlights include interviews with Dr. Jill Boden, Hillary Rodham Clinton, actor and activist Jameela Jamil, AOC, and Ladies Get Paid’s Claire Wasserman.
“After I left my job in 2018,” says Roberts, “I realized that there were a whole lot of podcasts talking about how amazing it is to leave your job and pursue your dreams. But they were all kinda flower crowns and living barefoot in vans. What I mean is they were less about what to do when a client ghosts on payment: spoiler alert charge a deposit! And while Google and your friends with 401K’s are cool, sometimes you need to talk to someone who just gets it. After many of my own therapy sessions and fumbling through my first two years of freelancing I decided to start this podcast as a way for us to figure out the nitty-gritty of the freelance thing together and over the airwaves.”
The Black Girl Podcast is an audio series created by Scottie Beam, Gia Peppers, Sapphira, Bex Francois, and Alysha P. After the five media influencers met and became friends at hip hop’s most iconic station, Hot 97, they decided to make their hilarious conversations about life issues, sisterhood, pop culture, love, growth, and the pursuit of their dreams to the public.
Hosted by Charli Prangley, Femke Van Schoonhoven, Design Life is a podcast about design and side projects for motivated creators. The hosts, two “serial side project addicts,” saw a gap in the podcast market for an open, casual conversation about design and the issues young creatives face – specifically one hosted by two women. Key topics include getting paid, overcoming creative blockers, time management, and the struggles of working in tech.
Comedian, activist, and fashion icon Margaret Cho hosts a series of intimate, accessible interviews pairing emerging artists with bigger names to help get their name up. Highlights include GO-Go’s lead singer Belinda Carlisle, Aimee Mann, and Lesley Arfin.
Okay, Now Listen, presented by Netflix and Strong Black Lead is a bi-weekly podcast hosted by Scottie Beam and Sylvia Obell. They share what’s on their minds, what they’re binging, and what’s taking over their social media timelines.
All My Relations, hosted by Matika Wilbur and Adrienne Keene, explores their relationships— to land, the environment, animals, and to one another. Each episode invites guests to delve into a different topic facing Native American peoples today. It’s a podcast filled with joy, sorry, games, and laughs.
Hosted by Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan, Hear to Slay focuses on the politics and pop culture that shape our world. Described as “Highbrow. Lowbrow. And everything in between,” it’s funny, challenging, sharp, and sightful and refuses to take itself too seriously. Recent highlights include activist and storyteller Amber J. Phillips, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Dr. Ebony Hilton.
Co-hosted by Elena Volkova and JM Giordano, this weekly podcast explores photojournalism through the eyes of working photojournalists. It focuses on the heart of photojournalism: “why and how we do what we do.” Highlights include Claire Beckett, Jackie Sofia (creator of The Narrative Projects), and Vox’s Kainaz Amaria looking at #MeToo in photojournalism.
Design Matters with Debbie Millman is one of the world’s first podcasts, broadcasting independently for over 15 years. The show, hosted by design legend Debbie Millman is about how incredibly creative people design the arc of their lives. Past and recent highlights include Marylin Minter, Jenna Lyons, Marina Ambromovic, Miranda July and so many more.
Hosted by Femme and Munoz, Locatora Radio is a Los Angeles-based independent podcast that fuses humor, pop culture analysis, and interviews with artists to engage listeners in layered yet accessible discussions about feminism, sexual wellness, women in tech, arts, and culture for a modern Latinx audience.
Elayne Fluker, author of Get Over ‘I Got It’: How to Stop Playing Superwoman, Get Support and Remember that Having It All Doesn’t Mean Doing It All Alone (HarperCollins Leadership) hosts SUPPORT IS SEXY. Elayne interviews more than 500 successful women entrepreneurs around the world, who share inspiring, true stories of their entrepreneurial journeys. Topics include managing professional performance anxiety, Entrepreneurship in East Africa, brand building, raising investment capital, and more.
Codeswitch addresses how race permeates every part of society, from politics and pop culture to history, sports, and more. “We’re talking to people who have been marginalized and underrepresented for so long, who are so hungry to see themselves represented fully and with nuance and complexity,” says co-host Shereen Marisol Meraji, “People recognize that, because we had been having these conversations for so many years in advance, we’re a trusted place where they could go to better understand all the stories about race filling up their newsfeeds and social channels.”
Hosted by Melody Cheng, Helen Wu, and Janet Wang, three women who work in finance, technology, and media, Asian Boss Girl addresses the ongoing lack of representation of Asian women in media. The hosts share their experiences of working, dating, and living in Los Angeles, California. Recent highlights include an interview with Jenny Han (author of the bestselling “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” a feature on the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes, and parenting amidst a climate of reckoning.
Design luminaries Jessica Helfand and Michael Beirut explore how design works to shape decisions, ideas, behavior, products, and more. Recent highlights include Nikil Saval, Kat Vellos, Kelly Walters, Paola Antonelli Daniella Zalcman, and Janelle Monae.
Hosts Susan Barrett – founder of Barrett Barrera Projects and Todd Thomas hosts this podcast that positions art and visual culture as action and activism in the time of Covid, racial and cultural reckoning. In their words, the hosts describe this as an “ongoing process of re-constructing our world, and creatives are the harbingers of a new reality, with the ability to catalyze real change.” Recent highlights include Parker Posey, Antwaun Sargent, Pusy Riot, and fashion pioneer Dapper Dan.
Hosted by American civil rights advocate Kimberly Crenshaw, Intersectionality Matters! focuses on a range of topics related to cultural and gender inclusivity. Recent highlights include a feature on “storytelling while Black and female,” creating community in the 2020 summer of Covid, Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s important legacy, and more…
Creative Boom’s founding editor Katy Cowan hosts this series of fun, funny, and honest conversations with creative people filled with “laughs, a few tears but plenty of advice and insight to help you in your creative career.” Highlights include designer Meg Lewis (who’s worked with brands like Dropbox and Google,) Debbie Millman, and one of our personal favorites – artist and designer Lisa Congdon.