Just a little more than a year ago, Crina Hoyer and Kirsten Barron took the leap into what was a brand-new world them both: podcasting.
The result is “Crina and Kirsten Get to Work,” a podcast with the goal of helping working women find more ease, meaning and joy in the workplace.
Crina, the former executive director of a non-profit and now a consultant, and Kirsten, a business/employment attorney and partner at Barron Smith Daugert, bring their wealth of workplace experience to the podcast, along with sharing stories of other women.
“I just wanted to record the kinds of conversations that we already have, that I have with other women friends, and I know that other women are having,” Crina says. “We want it to sound like we’re talking to our 10 best friends, and if other women can relate, that’s great.”
In the past year, as they have developed and produced the podcast, the women have touched on subjects from competition in the workplace to taking more vacations to crushing the patriarchy.
“We talk about very personal things from self-awareness and mindfulness to shame and our own struggles as working women,” says Crina.
The impetus for the podcast came from Crina. She had begun listening to a number of podcasts and was fascinated with the medium. At the same time, she and Kirsten had developed a rapport over the time Kirsten served as the pro bono attorney for the non-profit Crina led.
Their conversations were getting noticed by those around them. A common refrain: “It’s so fun to listen to you two talk.”
So Crina inviting Kirsten to start a podcast with her should have been a slam dunk, right?
Crina wasn’t so sure.
“She thought I would say: ‘Oh my god, I’m too busy, I can’t possibly…’” Kirsten says, but “I jumped at the chance.” She was ready for a new creative outlet in her life, and the podcast idea resonated with her— particularly the goal of raising women up.
“I was hungry for the conversation,” says Kirsten, “the creativity, the engagement and the intimacy.”
Since then, “Our friendship has been on fast forward,” Crina says. “We’re getting to the point where we can finish each other’s sentences—most of the time correctly.”
And the podcast has been gaining steam, too. The podcast has listeners in nearly all 50 states, as well as some foreign countries. They recently surpassed the milestone of 10,000 downloads and are quickly heading toward 11,000.
“It’s feedback that our message resonates—that there are folks out there who find it interesting and worthwhile,” Kirsten says.
Crina and Kirsten believe their success is due in part to the fact the podcast is aimed toward all women who work, not just women in leadership roles, as many podcasts are geared toward.
“I thought it was important to make work more meaningful, easier and more joyous for all women, not just women leaders,” Kirsten says.
It’s also not a podcast designed for working moms, even though Crina and Kirsten are both mothers. While their kids and families do come up on the show from time to time, they want the podcast to serve all working women—not marginalize anyone—when many of the experiences women face can make them feel like the “only one.”
Crina and Kirsten say they have heard from many women that they love the podcast’s topics because it normalizes their experiences and they can relate to the subjects.
Crina says, “We’ve been told it’s unique to hear us talk about things like feeling anxious and frustrated about being the only women in leadership; feeling bullied or marginalized because of gender; being expected to do the extra labor at work like planning the staff party or taking notes at the meetings; carrying responsibilities outside of work that male co-workers do not; being left out of the social events and after-work fun stuff that is important to building connection.”
Kirsten adds—in a great example of finishing each other’s thoughts— “We work not just to explore and acknowledge these issues, but to provide some solutions. I think that by bringing up these topics in the way that we do women feel less alone and better able to manage them.”
While Crina and Kirsten bring their stories as well as the experiences of other women to the show, they also back up their experiences with a heaping helping of data.
Oftentimes, Kirsten says, our experiences aren’t backed up by data, which is why she and Crina dig in to find research that corroborates these experiences and bring it into their conversations.
In the coming weeks, Crina and Kirsten will add a new feature to their research: focus groups (aka Zoom happy hours) with a select group of women sharing their own thoughts and experiences on an upcoming podcast subject.
“The more deeply we can engage women the more support we can provide and the more successful they’ll be,” Kirsten says.
To be included in one of the groups, keep a lookout on the You Get to Work Facebook page for details.
Crina and Kirsten Get to Work can be found on many podcasting platforms; subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or Stitcher. You can also check out their YouTube channel.