Credit: BBC 5 Live

The BBC's only podcast for women of colour - The Sista Collective - was created last year by journalist and presenter Jessie Aru Phillips, as she felt there was a real need to reflect the conversations that Britain's black female community were having.

In a podcast with, she talked about featuring regional accents and voices to go beyond stereotypes.

"When people think of a black woman, the voice that they're going to think of is someone from the south of England," she said.

The first season, that concluded in June 2019, saw guests such as Olympic athlete Anyika Onuora from Liverpool, The Apprentice's Joanna Jarjue from Yorkshire, and Paula Akpan, founder of Black Girl Fest and part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Aru Phillips, who is herself from Liverpool, shares the microphone with fellow BAME women, including the Scottish fashion model Eunice Olumide and Scarlette Douglas, a TV presenter from Hertfordshire.

The series has covered important talking points such as fertility, speaking to singer and presenter Jamelia who had her teenage daughter as birthing partner.

These are topics all women can relate to regardless of background. What is important for The Sista Collective team is that black women are driving these conversations.

The podcast format lends itself to hosting "candid conversations" and reaching new audiences.

"The intimacy that you're trying to go for in a podcast is like if I overheard a conversation, rather than someone broadcasting something at me.

"We try to create an atmosphere where it's like you and your friends having a chat."

Aru Phillips remains encouraged by pledges made by BBC to reach a 15 per cent BAME on-screen representation and 50 per cent representation of women overall by 2020.

But this goes deeper than hiring quotas and headcounts. There is evidence that this podcast is creating a workplace change.

"Obviously, all organisations could do more. But when people in senior positions empower senior journalists such as myself to make decisions and create programmes like this, that of itself is something."

The season three will be pitched after the summer of 2019.

Find out how to regain audiences’ trust by driving diversity in your newsroom at Newsrewired on 27 November at Reuters, London. Head to for the full agenda and tickets

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