Back when I lived and worked in New York City, my commute to and from the office on the subway was often a struggle. Jam-packed subway cars, people holding wide-open newspapers, manspreading… And my commute took nearly an hour. When I lived and worked in London for a big financial services firm, I often traveled four or more times a month for client engagements across continental Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. I experienced hundreds, if not thousands, of long airplane, car, or train rides.
As someone who values intellectual curiosity and life-long learning—as well as time— it was critical for me to find a way to not only make it through the rides, but make them productive. Podcasts have helped me survive (and thrive) during my many morning commutes and extensive travel stints. They are my reprieve. They are intellectually stimulating, funny, and informative. And there are so many different podcasts that you can find one about almost any topic you can think of. Whether you’re looking for some inspiration to get through the day or talking points on key diversity and inclusion (D&I) issues, I’m positive there is a podcast out there for you.
Here are four of my favorite D&I-related podcast series:
It’s no surprise that women have to deal with a whole set of issues and double standards when it comes to the workplace. Launched in January 2018, this podcast tackles some of the thorniest issues around being a woman at work. Hosted by Amy Bernstein, Sarah Green Carmichael, and Nicole Torres from Harvard Business Review, this podcast hits upon all the topics impacting women at work today. The hosts bring in some of the leading experts on women’s workplace issues to share their experiences and advice.
Currently in its second season, this podcast has covered topics including work-life effectiveness, the gender pay gap, #MeToo, leading authentically, and women performing “housework” tasks at the office.
- Episode Highlights: The most popular and probably most relevant episode thus far is called “Work After #MeToo,” which addresses work in the wake of movements like #TIMESUP and #MeToo, as well as the recent tsunami of reports of sexual harassment in the workplace. I also love their “Lead with Authenticity” episode, where the hosts delve into the importance of developing one’s own authentic leadership style at work, as well as the unique challenges that come along with bringing your “whole self” to work as a woman. Truly easier said than done!
Jennifer Brown is a well-known entrepreneur, speaker, author, and D&I expert. In her podcast series, The Will to Change, she offers up weekly inspiration through interviews with people from all walks of life. She talks with CEOs, authors, entrepreneurs, and other D&I practitioners for one-on-one sit-downs covering topics including engaging men as diversity champions, the business case for diversity and inclusion, employee networks or resource groups, and more.
- Episode Highlight: One of Jennifer’s most popular episodes is “Engaging Men as Allies for Gender Equality With Ray Arata.” In this particular episode, she focuses on engaging men as champions and allies for gender inclusion efforts in the workplace. Ray Arata, founder of the Better Man Conference, shares his experience of developing his own healthy masculinity and the work that he is doing to engage men and women in partnering to support gender equality. I’m especially fond of this episode because it resonates with a lot of Catalyst’s research on the importance of including men in efforts to address inequalities at work.
3. Code Switch
Intersectionality refers to the complex ways that class, race, gender, ethnicity, and other aspects of identity overlap and affect people as individuals, and it’s becoming increasingly focused on in workplaces. NPR’s Code Switch is hosted by a team of journalists of underrepresented races and ethnicities who cover the topics of race, ethnicity, and culture. It is a poignant, fresh look at how these aspects of our identity play into our daily lives, in big ways and small.
According to their website, “Over the next few decades, people of color will come to compose a majority of the country’s population, a transition that’s already happened among the nation’s youngest residents.” This podcast will keep you on the pulse of this transition and how to navigate the complex changes that will come with it.
- Episode Highlights: Two of their most popular episodes are “Can We Talk About Whiteness?” and “The Code Switch Guide to Handling Casual Racism,” which address issues of white culture and race in America. Both episodes feature thoughtful discussions of race, racism, unconscious prejudice, and innate privilege.
In today’s global business environment—filled with rapidly changing technologies, demographics, skills, and cultures—companies ready to embrace and adapt to those changes will outperform their peers. Organizations and leaders alike need to take action toward addressing the human capital challenges of the future.
Best-selling author, speaker, and self-proclaimed “futurist” Jacob Morgan aims to address exactly this issue with his podcast, The Future of Work. He delves into what the changing future of work means for all of us, sitting down with CHROs, CEOs, CIOs, and other business leaders to explore topics such as technology, Millennials, workplace design, and more. Jacob’s website also offers The Future in Five video series, in which Jacob tackles one aspect of employee experience and the future of work in less than five minutes.
- Episode Highlight: One of my favorite episodes is “Innovation During a Disruptive Era,” featuring Jeff Wong, the Global Chief Innovation Officer at EY. Jeff says innovation is about “doing old things in new ways.” We at Catalyst agree very much with this point of view—a critical aspect of innovation is improvement to existing products, processes, or services. Jeff talks about the three kinds of innovation every workplace needs to put into practice to stay competitive in the 21st century, as well as how companies should go about adopting new technology. Jeff also points out that “failure is a big part of innovation;” the important thing is “what you learn from that failure and how to change the pathway around it.”
I hope that these resources help you along your diversity and inclusion journey. Please feel free to comment below and share your own favorite podcasts. And if you’re looking for more resources, stay connected with Catalyst. We have tons of great research reports, tools, practices, and webinars on a lot of topics covered in the aforementioned podcasts. Check them out at www.catalyst.org or sign up for our monthly newsletter here.