The Ascend Fund
Ten podcasts that elevate women's voices in politics
Women in politics are making history across the country as they continue to break down barriers and increase representation in government. While there are now more women serving in office than ever before, we’re still far from true gender parity.
Podcasts are effective tools for both elevating marginalized voices and educating the public on the importance and benefits of a more inclusive political system. This is especially true for women in politics. By creating spaces for women’s voices to be heard, whether in politics or elsewhere, we can continue to educate ourselves on the important strides women make every day.
Check out our favorite podcasts below, many with episodes featuring our partners, to learn more about women’s representation in politics.
1. Two Broads Talking Politics
Hosted by Kelly and Sophy, two midwestern moms who were inspired by the Women’s March, Two Broads Talking Politics is a space for women candidates, activists, and influential authors across the country to share their powerful accomplishments. Their #VoteHerIn series collaborates with author Rebecca Sive of Vote Her In: Your Guide to Electing Our First Woman President to further dive into how we can continue to elect more women to office, and how critical it is for women to gain political power.
Liuba Grechen Shirley (23 minutes)
Liuba Grechen Shirley, founder of Vote Mama, comes back on the show for this episode to follow up with Kelly and Sophy about where Vote Mama is now and all they’ve accomplished since last coming on the show in February 2019. She discusses why using campaign funds for childcare is not only a women’s issue, but a racial issue, a bipartisan issue, and beneficial to men as well.
Erin Vilardi (#VoterHerIn) (28 minutes)
Learn about Erin Vilardi of Vote Run Lead as she talks with Kelly and Rebecca about changing the national culture surrounding women in politics and how she got involved in this field. Learn about their Run 51 program, resources and strategies for women running for office, the impact of ranked choice voting, and what’s needed to create a groundswell of change across the nation to normalize women’s leadership.
2. The Brown Girl’s Guide to Politics
Founded and hosted by A’shanti Gholar, the president of Emerge America, a training program for Democratic women, The Brown Girl’s Guide to Politics aims to create a space for women of color interested in getting involved in politics to get advice, news, tools, and resources to empower them on their journey. She conducts interviews with influential women in politics such as candidates, politicians, and organizational leaders and analyzes the various issues BIPOC women face in this field and how to break down barriers.
Madalene Mielke: “You’re investing in the next generation.” (39 minutes)
In 2019, Madalene Mielke, CEO and President of APAICS talked with A’shanti about inclusivity in politics, the importance of mentorship and resources to minority candidates, breaking out of stereotypes, and how to encourage API women to run for office. She also details her own background and the varied representation and diversity she experienced growing up, and how she came into the field of politics.
3. The Electorette
Host Jenn Taylor Skinner founded The Electorette to create a sense of community like what she felt during the women’s marches. Jenn aims to bring together strong, smart women working to create solutions for our democracy. She interviews women passionate about equality, feminism, reproductive justice, healthcare and more, to tap into how we can prioritize these issues.
Transform State Legislatures to 51% Women’s Representation by 2024 (43 minutes)
Hear from Erin Vilardi and Rhonda Briggins of Vote Run Lead as they talk with Jenn about the historical gender gap, their program RUN /51, the barriers and unique challenges women face when running for office, and how the pandemic affected women running for office.
Tiffany Gardner, CEO of Reflect.US (24 minutes)
On this episode, Tiffany Gardner of Reflect.US talks about her take on the outcome of the 2020 election, how we should think about the candidacy of women who don’t share political points of view, and why the focus should be on parity and essential policy change. They also talk about specific issues such as the effect of the childcare crisis and the pandemic on women running for office.
4. Sunday Civics
L. Joy Williams has always had a passion for civic action, community service, and empowering Black women. Her diverse background in politics, including being Chair Emeritus of Higher Heights for America and Chair of the Higher Heights PAC, inspired her to start the Sunday Civics podcast to teach more women, minority communities, and others interested in learning more about politics how to be active in democracy.
Ohio is Soaring to Higher Heights (48 minutes)
As an active involved member of the Higher Heights organization, it is only fitting that Williams would work with Glynda Carr, CEO and Founder of Higher Heights for America. They talk about the noteworthy race of Ohio’s 11th Congressional District’s special election, and Williams and Carr also share their interviews with Nina Turner and Shontel Brown.
5. Breaking Glass
Kassia Binkowski and Sabrina Merage Naim host Breaking Glass to bring greater exposure to the various experiences women face in an inequitable society. On each episode they talk with an individual working to create major changes for women across the world by bringing a narrative to the struggles of womanhood. Episode guests include civil rights activities, fashion influencers, political leaders, photographers, and founders of grassroots organizations.
Women in politics and a nation's future (51 minutes)
Kassia and Sabrina talk with Erin Loos Cutraro, founder of She Should Run about her success in creating safe spaces for women to explore running for office and become leaders. She aims to help women get their “aha” moments of why they want to get involved and make a difference. She elaborates on how having greater diversity and representation inspires other women to run who share similar backgrounds, and how these women with unique skills go on to make impactful change in office.
6. Our Body Politic
Reporter and author Farai Chideya created Our Body Politic to create a news source by Black women for Black women and other women of color. She focuses on highlighting the role BIPOC women play in shaping politics, and how they’re affected by political decisions. Her diverse episode topics aim to expose the intersectionality between women’s issues and the economy, health, politics, education, and the environment.
Engaging the Latino Electorate, the challenges of immigration reform, and women of color building their own institutions (51 minutes)
Farai often talks to more than one guest on her podcast episodes. On this week's episode, she speaks with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez of New York, Cecilia Muñoz, a Senior Advisor at New America, a public policy Think-tank, and Our Body Politic Producer Priscilla Alab. They cover issues affecting Latino communities such as immigration, representation in government, people taking advantage of minority communities, voting rights, and women of color working to forge their own career paths in a society that disadvantages them, with a great conversation surrounding Nikole Hannah-Jones.
7. Women Rule
This podcast was hosted by Anna Palmer and dives into how women can advance their leadership skills at any stage in their career to reach their full potential. Hear from prominent women leaders about how to develop your network and succeed in your career. The show ended in December 2020 when Anna left Politico, so while there aren’t new episodes coming out there are 3 years of exciting and informative episodes to keep you busy for a long time!
How does 2020 look for Republican women?: Julie Conway (26 minutes)
Listen to Julie Conway of VIEW PAC on this episode as she talks about the disadvantages women face in running for office, how she helps women level the playing field with finances. Julie talks about her work with VIEWPAC, gives pieces of fundraising advice to women wanting to run, her take on the 2020 election, and how the mass gains for democratic women winning in 2018 help to propel Republican women into office as well. This progress means that women such as Julie need to keep pushing for change and increased representation to maintain momentum.
8. Madam Policy
Madam Policy, launched in July 2021, is by, for, and, about women shaping policy. Dee Martin was inspired to found Madam Policy while reflecting on her journey interacting with influential women in advocacy, activism, and mentoring. The podcast shows how the intersectionality between these three concepts and how women are breaking barriers across all sectors and fighting to have their voices heard. Hear about Dee’s story and the amazing paths of Dee’s co-hosts in episode one, then look out each week for a new episode with another woman makes changes for women everywhere.
Tasha Cole: Owning Your Professional Destiny (47 minutes)
Tasha Cole is the first to serve as the Chief Diversity Officer at the DCCC and has already made groundbreaking progress in advancing policy and representation for minority communities. She, Dee, and co-host Yasmin Nelson discuss the importance of creating spaces for learning and the unique role diversity can play in impacting change in the political ecosystem. Dee also asks Tasha for her thoughts on campaigning during the pandemic, the midterm election, pivotal pieces of legislation she worked on, and more about her career path.
9. She Said / She Said
Like many others, Laura Cox Kaplan wasn’t satisfied with the way women were being framed in conversations surrounding politics and civic engagement. So, she set out to create her own narrative of diverse, impactful women making changes across the country. On She Said/She Said podcast, she talks with a wide range of women leaders in hopes of bringing actionable advice to her listeners.
Part 2: Three-part series on Women, Politics & Power and the film “An Acceptable Loss;” Former Congresswoman Barbara Comstock (44 minutes)
In the second part of this three-part series, Laura chats with Congresswoman Comstock about everything from the pressure that comes from being a woman in power in politics, her take on the film “An Acceptable Loss,” and her work in office and empowering other women to run for office. Congresswoman Comstock also shares the importance of having allies, staying true to yourself, her Young Women’s Leadership Program, and more!
10. Let’s Talk about Gay Stuff
Hosts Kendall and Thomas created this podcast to do exactly what they claim, talk about gay stuff! They cover everything from the history of LGBT+ policies, rights, culture, impactful events, and people trailblazing the movement. They utilize their unique perspective as LGBTQ+ members and a little bit of humor to discusses all the important equality issues facing the LGBTQ+ community in politics, music and fashion, film, history, and leadership.
2020 Election Edition Interview with Annise Parker (74 minutes)
Former Mayor of Houston and President and CEO of Victory Institute Annise Parker joined Kendall, Thomas, and Toni on this episode to talk about being LGBTQ and a politician. Mayor Parker discusses everything from her experiences and journey coming out and campaigning, to police policies, to the work of Victory Institute.