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Take a look at this list of top Substack newsletters and you notice that white, US-based men writers feature heavily on it. Where are the women?

Last week, we held an online event to discuss the lack of diversity within independent publishing and the barriers women face when entering into or working in this space. Ironically, starting a premium newsletter or podcast has never been easier, so in theory, anyone can thrive. But women face particular challenges when going solo, including online harassment and limiting self-beliefs.

In this week's podcast, we bring you the highlights from the three independent media professionals speaking at the event: Isabelle Roughol, the founder of the Borderline newsletter and podcast which started up last year; another pandemic-newcomer Qin Xie, founder of Money Talk, a newsletter on personal finance; and Thomas Baekdal, a veteran media analyst and the founder of, which has a paid-for subscription running since 2010, on top of podcast and newsletter analysis.

From the psychological barriers to the very real threats women face in the world of independent publishing, we explore what prevents them from breaking into the upper echelons of premium newsletters and podcasts.

Want to catch up with the full talk? Watch the recording now

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