Five Podcasts for Men Who Want to be Gender Equity Champions (Blog Post)
Men are avid podcast listeners—no surprise, given that two-thirds of podcasts on Apple’s top 100 chart are hosted by men, according to a 2017 survey by WYNC studios.
But while topics like history, sports, and finance are most popular, there are also podcasts that offer insights for men who want to be gender equity allies and champions.
From lively discussions about evolving ideas of masculinity to nitty-gritty advice for navigating office situations, these five podcast episodes offer thoughtful takeaways for men.
Favorite Episode: Manhood, Now
Producers from this WYNC show, which aims to host “open and honest conversations about the things that we ‘think about a lot, and need to talk about more,’” asked their listeners a simple question in this episode: “What’s the most confusing thing about being a man today?”
Examples include anxiety around complimenting women colleagues’ clothing in the #MeToo era; fathers who excuse their verbal abuse as being less severe than that of their own fathers; and egos obliterated by online social comparison with regards to sexual experience, earning potential, and physical fitness.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a man who couldn’t relate to something in this thoughtful, wide-ranging episode:
Favorite Episode: Men Aren’t Doing the Dishes at Work, Either
When it comes to unpaid labor at home, men bear far less of the burden, even in dual-earning households. The same can be true at work, where women are often expected to do “office housework” tasks, like taking notes and getting coffee, that, while essential, very rarely lead to promotions.
In this episode of Man Up, a podcast about learning (and unlearning) how to be a man, host Aymann Ismail asks his coworkers at online news site Slate about their lack of participation in the office dish-washing scheme, in which individuals cross their name off a list when they have done their part to keep the kitchen clean. Ismail good-naturedly takes the worst offenders, most of whom are men, to task, and their justifications are amusing and enlightening.
After listening to this episode, try thinking about the “office housework” tasks you see that are disproportionately performed by women.
Favorite Episode: The Office Without A**holes
A**holes at work—they demean others, steal credit, and feel completely justified in their behavior. But does it sometimes take a**hole to get the job done? Devotees of Apple genius Steve Jobs might say so.
In this episode, WorkLife host Adam Grant, an industrial organizational psychologist and Wharton School professor at the University of Pennsylvania, makes a case for the contrary: that, as one guest put it, “it’s better to have a hole than an a**hole.”
One illuminating example: When a new client walks in the door at law firm Fenwick & West, partners are required to ask junior associates to work with them—and “they have the unfettered ability to say no.” In this “free market” system, the power vested in subordinates means that partners are incentivized to elevate others, not just advance their own causes.
Give this one a listen for more solutions (like filling a conference room with humanoid heads of lettuce).
Favorite Episode: How to Lead an Unstoppable Team
If ever there was a podcast for men, the Art of the Manliness is it. Host Brett McKay—founder, and editor-in-chief of a popular website by the same name—covers a wide range of topics, including agriculture, anger management, and even escapees from a secret Syrian prison, all with the aim of helping men become better men.
In a recent episode, McKay spoke with Alden Mills, a former US Navy SEAL and Perfect Pushup purveyor, on the leadership qualities that inspire unstoppable teams. With an emphasis on relationship-building, Mills’s C.A.R.E. framework provides a compelling basis for unlocking the superpower of everyone on your team.
One thing that can get in the way for men? “The idea that we have to have this super tough shell…and be Mr. Macho.” Because men grow up with this idea, Mills says, they sometimes lose touch with their authentic selves. As one commander advised Mills, “only be as tough as the situation dictates”—advice that applies not only to your treatment of others, but also yourself.
This podcast’s inspiring tone and clear-cut framework make it an ideal listen for motivated people leaders.
Favorite Episode: Terry Crews on Success, Accountability, and Toxic Masculinity
You’d be hard-pressed to make better use of an hour than listening to former professional athlete and actor Terry Crews open up his heart on the School of Greatness, a podcast about what makes great people great.
On this episode, Crews shares the experiences that shaped his ideas about accountability, love, and authenticity: escaping a childhood of abuse and neglect; owning up to infidelity and a porn addiction that nearly ruined his marriage; and taking on a male Hollywood agent who groped him at party.
Crews also addresses “toxic masculinity,” a concept that many men struggle with. Crews admits that the term can feel overused but isn’t shy about holding up his own life as an example of its worst excesses.
Listen to this episode to learn why so many men look up to Crews. Fair warning: you might shed a tear.
Jared was a Director in the Learning and Advisory Services Department where he supported on-going engagement opportunities for individuals who have participated in MARC (Men Advocating Real Change). Prior to joining MARC, Jared worked for Time Out Beijing magazine. He graduated from Truman State University and currently resides in Pittsburgh,…