Top 10 podcasts to think about race, diversity and equity at work

If anything has been made clear over the past few weeks, it’s that it’s not enough to just have good intentions anymore; only our actions matter. Whether you are taking your first, second, or hundredth step in this direction, podcasts are incredibly useful resources for self-education. 

Firstly, as free speech conversations, podcasts are often unedited (or lightly edited), bringing a sense of reality that you can’t always get from reading an article that may have passed through two or three editor’s hands. Secondly, podcasts dive into the everyday experiences of people who might not otherwise have been given a platform to speak. Thirdly, podcasts allow listeners to pick up on clues that are often lost in written language, such as tone of voice, emotion and other nuances. Fourthly, and most importantly, listeners can do just that – listen. In a spoken conversation, the listener is expected to respond in some way, but with podcasts, it’s a one-way communication. This process allows us to fully digest the thoughts presented to us, as well as rewind for further clarification. 

Thinking about how to tackle the sometimes intimidating themes of race, inclusion and identity at work, we have put together a list of podcasts to explore. From sharing the stories of black founders, and entrepreneurs from other underrepresented groups, to considering leadership actions to take right now, these podcasts are some of our favourites. In any case, each episode will give you practical advice for how to tackle racism, diversity and inclusion at work.

Code Switch – Code Switch is hosted by a multi-generational and multi-racial team of NPR journalists who cover race and identity. Code Switch wants to have the messy, uncomfortable, essential conversations with the nuance and depth they deserve. Although ‘code-switching’ is a linguistic term that means switching languages, here the concept refers to how we constantly change how we express ourselves, across different cultural spaces. The podcast covers many topics of society, including work-based topics like how to explain context when talking about race, language choice, getting your foot in the door of a new industry.

In Good Company – Created by founder Otegha Uwagba, who is also the author of the book ‘A toolkit for working women’, this podcast brings fresh insights on topics like racism in beauty, microaggressions, invisible labour, office politics and raising investment. Themes include entrepreneurship, navigating discrimination and sharing smart solutions to move forward. 

Founders Unfound – Founders Unfound serves to highlight incredible tech founders from underrepresented backgrounds – starting with founders of African descent. The most recent episode of June 7 ‘Real Talk with Black Men Founders June 2020’ pulls together podcast guests from across the US and Canada to process in real-time how they feel, as black men and as entrepreneurs, during this period in time.

The Diversity Gap – “When it comes to diversity, good intentions are just the beginning”. Bethaney Wilkinson leads this podcast with the premise that there is a huge gap between what we intend, and what we actually do. Episodes thoughtfully discuss topics like how to handle casual racism, whiteness, unlearning racism, how to be the change you want to see at work, and how to lead your team during a racial crisis. Always giving a fresh and multi-dimensional look at a topic, the conversations offer practical advice on self-awareness and action.

Tech Forward – Tech Forward is hosted by Cheryl Chotrani, a tech founder, developer and investor. The podcast’s goal? To explore how diversity can improve the world we live in. Through the podcast, Cheryl interviews entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, media and tech leaders, and diversity advocates, to share the incredible stories of innovators and trailblazers from underrepresented groups in the tech industry. Topics include lack of funding, holding organisations accountable for diversity — and more. 

Diversity in Tech with Joanna Udo – Diversity in Tech is all about increasing representation of women of colour in tech, by precisely sharing their stories. Each week, Joanna dives into the career paths of different tech professionals to share their experiences and advice on how to get into and succeed in the field. Joanna also interviews advocates, recruiters, career strategists and leaders to get them on board. 

Innovation For All – Innovation For All is a podcast about diversity in tech and business, fuelled by social psychology. Hosted by Dr. Sheana Ahlqvist, who has PhD in Quantitative Social Psychology, each episode features far-reaching conversations about challenges at the intersection of innovation and social impact. The goal? To help entrepreneurs make more inclusive products and businesses, which better serve traditionally overlooked groups.

Racism at Work – Hosted by Professor Binna Kandola OBE (OBE is a British recognition), this podcast has a panel of guests each week to discuss how racism manifests in the workplace, and how we can all address it. From talking about whether AI might be bias, to leadership, to ‘micro-incivilities’, each episode is insightful and thought provoking. The podcast was running mostly in 2019, but there are a fair few episodes there to dive into.

Techish – Techish was created by two millennial tech founders in the UK, Abadesi Osunsade and Michael Berhane, and brings the voice of young urban entrepreneurs to the table. Although the podcast is described as covering all things tech, pop culture and life, content is also focused on the experience of minority founders in the tech and entrepreneurship world. Each episode is set up as a rundown of what’s hot at the time, including issues of racism and sexism that are in the news. Expect honest and refreshingly unedited reflection from these two bright sparks.

Side Hustle Pro – Entrepreneur Nicaila Matthews Okome spotlights black female entrepreneurs in each episode, sharing the behind-the-scenes of their process, from quitting the day job, to challenges along the way. Nicaila has been featured on the Today show, CBNC, Yahoo! Finance, and many more. While the content is not directly offering insights on how to become more diverse and inclusive at work, listening will give an appreciation of different voices and stories in the entrepreneurship world.

This week we’ll be talking about how to increase funding opportunities for underrepresented founders, and the benefits of having a team with different backgrounds. Stay tuned.

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