- More and more women-identified folks are in podcast editing.
- This means that online professional development groups for women and femxle podcast editors are needed.
- These groups provide community, collaboration, and nurturance, helping members to make better podcasts and grow professionally.
- Just Busters, PodcastHERs, and WOC Editors are groups that provide excellent examples.
You know the feeling when you’re the new person in a space. It doesn’t always feel welcome, does it? There are some key ways that women and femxle podcast editors’ groups can improve your podcast editing experience. They provide a sense of belonging, make it easier to communicate and collaborate, and offer nurturance.
For these experiences, I rely on:
- Interview with Carrie Caulfiend Arick of YaYa Podcasting and one of the Co-Founders of Just Busters
- Interview with Mary Chan, Podcast Strategist, Host of The Podcaster's Guide to a Visible Voice and an active member of Just Busters.
- An online survey posted on Twitter and Facebook, in which 12 lovely respondents contributed.
- My personal experience with the Facebook group Just Busters
A Sense of Belonging
Me: “What makes Just Busters different from other editing groups?”
Mary Chan: “In other groups, it feels like you and 500 men. But in Just Busters it feels cozy and intimate.”
Mary said that the size of a group is a factor on how tight-knit an online community feels. But in groups where there are few women or femxle editors, it is even more important. Why? Because moderators should stop group members who are being rude or inappropriate, simply because they are in the majority and think they can get away with it. This is not always done quickly in groups where men are in the majority, because their behavior is the norm. After Mary joined Just Busters, she felt more relaxed. She then asked and answered editing questions with ease and frequency.
Similarly, Robin Kinnie of Motor City Woman Studios shared her time in large, male-dominated editing spaces. “Being a recording studio owner puts me in the position of the minority. I have found that these spaces can overlook and undervalue women. The female groups give a sense of belonging, and are more collaborative in nature.”
Gender balance matters. We act differently when the balance is off. Mary, Robin and many of the editors that I surveyed admitted that they were more comfortable in groups where they were not the gender minority. If you feel the same way in your podcast editing groups, you may want to check out one of these women and femxle podcast editing groups.
The name “Just Busters” was created to encourage women and femxle editors to stop using the word “just” to talk about their editing work. For example, saying, “I just edit audio,” makes our editing skill sound less impressive than it is. Carrie also mentioned that the words she used to talk about her editing work became important a few years ago when she participated in Elsie Escobar’s ELeague. Elsie opened Carrie’s eyes to how important what you say, and how you say it, are. Elsie is the Community Manager at Libsyn and co-runs She Podcasts, a women and femxle podcasting group with Jessica Kupferman. But, her podcasting influence is much bigger than these accomplishments.
And that’s the point.
The goal for many of these groups is to help women and femxle editors communicate with more confidence. Carrie, Elsie and other podcast thought leaders want women and femxle editors to speak confidently about their work. This includes feeling confident enough to ask questions freely. It also includes sharing what they’ve learned in any and every community that they are in.
Interestingly, Mary Chan connected the impact that Just Busters has on its members to the sociolinguistic book “WordSlut” by Amanda Montell. This book is a light-hearted, focused view on gender and language. Mary explained Montell’s gender difference analysis this way: “We are horizontally speaking together with the same thoughts. Men, on the other hand, have a long history of verbal duels. They are speaking to win. There must be a winner and a loser. So they are speaking one thought after another until there is a winner.”
Goals for Women and Female Podcast Editors' Spaces
Me: What’s your goal for Just Busters?
Carrie: “I want everyone to outgrow me.”
It’s working! She’s noticed group members sharing editing knowledge in general podcasting groups. She beamed as she admitted that they are “speaking with more and more confidence.” We’ve all had those moments of not feeling heard because we are different, haven’t we? If you are a women or femxle editor and feel this way in your editing groups, there is a strong chance that joining one of these women and femxle Editors’ groups could help.
Collaboration and Nurturance
Some women and femxle editing groups are so nurturing that editors build their businesses from this support. Bex Carlos mentioned such an experience from the Women of Color (WOC) Podcast Editors Directory, “WOC Podcasters has been the most supportive space I’ve ever been in. Without that group, my editing career wouldn’t have started.” Claire Ellerhorst said, “I am still relatively new, but am working towards establishing a schedule to regularly check for questions and add answers when I feel like I can be of assistance. Eventually, I would like to be able to offer quick one-on-ones to help beginners through issues. I want to give back in the same way many others have in these editing groups.”
But why is this nurturing done? Casey Broda shared, “Women seem to be more unsure of themselves and need more help with getting clients and charging enough for themselves. They seem to be more focused on bolstering the editor's mental ability. Whereas men seem to have more technical issues, what is the best way to do (whatever)?”
Women and Femxle Experiences in Just Busters
Just Busters has a very strong give and take group culture. It is common to see a new member join the group one week, and soon after start to ask and answer questions. Kaci Lehman joined Just Busters recently. She admitted, “When able, I comment on posts I know the answer to. However, I’m still relatively new to this podcast editing thing, so I’m more often asking the questions!”
Many Editors wrote something similar in the survey. They also wrote about the transparent, honest, and detail-oriented replies they read and write in these groups. For example, Eliana Zebro shared, “I'm always willing to answer people's questions, including telling my rates, because being open about what we're getting paid is always best for everyone involved.”
Editors are thankful for the support that they receive in these women and femxle Editors’ groups. In return, they go out of their way to give back whenever they can. Wouldn’t you like to be part of this editing reciprocity?
My Experience in the Women & Femxle Podcast Editors’ Space
Personally, I joined Just Busters about 2 years ago. I didn’t think I would be a Podcast Editor. I was editing my own podcasts for 2 years when I joined, but assumed that I would someday outsource my audio to someone else. Truthfully, I probably joined Just Busters to find my future editor. But the characteristics I’ve described here inspired me not to hire an editor, but to become one. During my time in Just Busters I’ve felt a strong sense of belonging, a communicative ease, numerous opportunities for collaboration and an abundance of nurturance. This is far more than I bargained for. I hope that by sharing my and my fellow women and femxle Editors’ experiences, that we can inspire you to reach out and join us.
If you’re interested in these kinds of online support spaces, here are a few I’d recommend:
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