Latina Podcasters Like Rita Bautista Are Ensuring Our Voices Are Heard
Here at BoldLatina, we are big on owning our narrative and elevating our Latina/x stories and change-makers in our community. Audio content, podcasts, are gaining not only listening traction with Latinas but also creation interest, to express themselves and point of view. We chat with Rita Bautista, a leading Latina podcaster in the global podcast space about why it is important to own, operate and carve out space in the podcast industry where Latina podcasters and BIPOC are underrepresented and underpaid.
As founder and CEO of the Latina Podcasters Network, Bautista connects aspiring and established Mujeres Latinas and the Latinx community. She has been called a bold innovative thinker and cultural connector by her peers. She’s responsible for hosting the first Latina Podcasters meetup at any podcast convention. Her passion and love for the podcasting industry came in 2019 when she launched her first podcast, Empowerment & All That. This podcast was dedicated to empowering women by delivering motivational interviews and episodes. Her desire to keep growing in the podcast community and find cultural relevance was the driving force to develop Latina Podcasters Network. Today, Rita helps women of color with aspirations to create their own podcast through Cirque Maya Media, a turnkey podcast production and social media marketing consulting firm that focuses on producing and amplifying Latinx, Women, and BIPOC voices, talent and companies.
Share your stories, take to a microphone, and talk about anything and everything that comes to your mind. If you don’t, someone who doesn’t understand your story will tell it for you. That is something we must do, change the story and control our own narrative. – Rita Bautista
Latina Podcasters™ is the first and only global podcast network committed solely to amplifying the voices of Latinas and Latinx mujeres. Bautista is a graduate of the University of New Orleans and has over a decade of experience serving on civic and non-profit boards representing Latinx voices in education, government, business and sports. Her work has been featured on Business Insider, SoundHer by Sounder.fm, on numerous podcasts and the television show En Su Casa con Telemundo.
How did you decide to start Latina Podcasters, what drew you into podcasting?
I started podcasting in 2019 because I wanted to share diverse inspirational stories to women. That’s when I launched Empowerment & All That Podcast. After a few months of struggling to build an audience, I decided to start looking for community to help grow the listenership. To my surprise, there was no network dedicated to amplifying the voices of Latinas who Podcast. I decided it was not only necessary but it would now turn into my life’s passion to focus on our voices and making sure we get paid market rate for our talent.
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What problem are you addressing with your Latina Podcasters?
Latina Podcasters serves as an opportunity to bring attention to the amazing talent that there is in our community. We are bold and empowering, soft and sweet, loving and knowledgeable but without the ability to discover and know how to find these podcasters, we are left with the status quo. I am ensuring that people know that this industry that seems so saturated really isn’t and there is tons of room for all of us. I am also ensuring that people know that we must get paid like all other podcasters.
Challenges you overcame to start Latina Podcasters?
I feel the challenges are never completely overcome. I am creating something completely from scratch and growing it. Every day there is a new hurdle and something else to learn, more people to connect to and more things to create. The thing is though, I’m not afraid of challenges or pressure for it is under pressure that a diamond is made.
Why are is Latina Podcasters for Latinas, why not all women?
I think that this could be asked differently because Latina Podcasters is for EVERYONE to enjoy. However, it is a network dedicated to bringing attention to the voices of Latinas because we are here. If you look at the iTunes charts, you would think we would be nowhere on site. I wanted to shed light on these voices because yo soy Latina, and I wanted to hear my stories and cuentos being told. At first, I thought I was the only one, but now that I have been able to create the network, I see there are hundreds if not thousands of us. Our culture and women aren’t always the first to be highlighted so I felt it was important to ensure that was our focus.
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What is the criteria for being part of the Latina Podcasters Network?
If you consider yourself a Latina, or have Latin American or Hispanic origins, you can join our network. You must be currently podcasting in either English, Spanish, Spanglish. The network is open to all genres. We have two membership levels that can be found on our website.
What are you personally and professionally looking forward to in 2021?
My life is pretty much a blend of personal and professional these days. Because Latina Podcasters has become my work and passion, my goals for next year are to kick off the 1st quarter of the year with all the podcasters audiences getting a massive boost. I also am looking forward to monetizing the network and getting the podcasters paid. Podcasting has seen such a massive growth over this pandemic and my hope is that our voices continue to be heard and celebrated.
What do you believe our Latina/x community challenges are right now?
There are so many. I think the first one is the narrative that the media and politics utilize to shed light on our community. Illegal immigration can not be the only conversation that we have surrounding our communities. Latinas, Latinos and the Latinx community have had a ton of amazing strides over the last few decades and we must begin to celebrate these feats. We are #1 in developing small businesses, #1 in growth in higher education, and we have $1.7 trillion dollars worth of buying power. We need more highlighting of the positive conversations around the Latina/o/x community. We also need to ensure that we keep an eye on pay parity. We are currently making 54 cents on the dollar compared to our white colleagues. Our work, voices, and time are valuable and we must not be afraid to demand just pay for what we contribute to this country.
If you could change one thing about the world today that would make it better for women, especially women of color/Latina/x/Black Women, what would it be?
The fact that people don’t’ understand how powerful words are and how they can be used to damage the image and integrity of millions of women. Stereotyping and misrepresenting people have caused so much bias towards us and against us. We don’t call men passionate and fiery when they are blunt and bold at work, we call them leaders and innovative thinkers. But if a woman is outspoken or corrects someone, she is automatically looked at as difficult to work with and that thought process alone is something I think we are tired of.
What in your opinion, makes someone a BoldLatina?
A woman who is confident and able to create ripples and she is not afraid to voice her thoughts and opinions, you know, una mujer con ganas. She adds flavor to anything she touches and the world knows its a better place because she is in it.
Any advice for other BoldLatinas out there you would like to share?
Share your stories, take to a microphone, and talk about anything and everything that comes to your mind. If you don’t, someone who doesn’t understand your story will tell it for you. That is something we must do, change the story and control our own narrative.
BoldLatina wishes to thank Rita Bautista and her team at Latina Podcasters Network for their work and representation in the podcast industry. Are you an aspiring Latina podcaster? Work With Cirque Maya Media or join the Latina Podcasters Network today!
Updated: October 13, 2021