11 Podcasts on Racism, Culture, and Leadership Recommended By A Diversity Expert

If you are hoping to impact positive change in your company, workplace, or school, Franklin Reed says “keep your saw sharpened”. The Director of Inclusion & Diversity at TEKsystems (a longtime FindSpark employer partner) credits his successful career pivot from business development to diversity and inclusion by continuing to be a lifelong learner and exposing himself to a broad range of topics.

Reed was one of six speakers at Racism In The Workplace: A Conversation On What We Can Do To Move Forward, FindSpark’s first-ever virtual event geared toward our entire community – from students and early career pros to hiring managers and higher ed professionals. After working in business development at TEKsystems for 14 years, Reed pivoted five years ago to diversity and inclusion: “I wanted to have the kind of impact that the company had on me and replicate it for individuals who looked like me and come from diverse backgrounds.”

His advice for other diversity and inclusion leaders is to research beyond racial inequality and gain a more holistic understanding of organizational and behavioral systems management and behavioral sciences. By focusing too narrow, he says, “we limit the impact we can make.”

Reed himself uses podcasts to learn more about a variety of topics. He shared with us his top favorite podcasts to listen to that represent his wide range of interests, since “you never know when the learning moment is going to happen.”


1. NPR Code Switch

The journalists behind Code Switch is a multi-racial, multi-generational team fascinated by the overlapping themes of race, ethnicity and culture, how they play out in our lives and communities, and how all of this is shifting.  In a nutshell, the podcast has all the fearless conversations about race that you’ve been waiting for.

2. NPR Fresh Air

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the Peabody Award-winning weekday magazine of contemporary arts and issues, is one of public radio’s most popular programs. Though Fresh Air has been categorized as a “talk show,” it hardly fits the mold. The show gives interviews as much time as needed, and complements them with comments from well-known critics and commentators.


3. Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History

Revisionist History is Malcolm Gladwell’s journey through the overlooked and the misunderstood. Every episode re-examines something from the past—an event, a person, an idea, even a song—and asks whether we got it right the first time, because according to Gladwell, “sometimes the past deserves a second chance.”


4. Jennifer Brown’s The Will to Change

Jennifer Brown is an award-winning entrepreneur, speaker, diversity and inclusion consultant, and author.  Her podcast The Will to Change follows the belief that “everyone has a diversity story… even those you don’t expect”.  Hear from leading CEOs, bestselling authors and entrepreneurs as Jennifer uncovers their true stories of diversity and inclusion.


5. HBR Ideacast

Ideacast is a weekly podcast featuring the leading thinkers in business and management from Harvard Business Review and hosted by senior editors Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch.


6. The Joe Rogan Experience 

The Joe Rogan Experience podcast is a long-form conversation hosted by comedian Joe Rogan with friends and guests that have included comedians, actors, musicians, MMA fighters, authors, artists, and beyond. It’s one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes.



7. The Future of Work

The Future of Work is a weekly show where Jacob Morgan has in-depth discussions with senior executives and business leaders around the world on the future of work. Morgan is a trained futurist and one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership, the future of work, employee experience, and leadership.


8. Coaching for Leaders

Coaching for Leaders has attracted 15 million downloads of conversations with bestselling authors, expert researchers, and everyday leaders — and is the #1 search result for coaching on Apple Podcasts. Host Dave Stachowiak founded Coaching for Leaders in 2011 and was named in Forbes as one of “25 Professional Networking Experts to Watch in 2015.”


9. Freakonomics Radio

Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything.


10. Your Brain at Work

Your Brain At Work is the official podcast of the NeuroLeadership Institute, where top researchers and thought leaders share breakthroughs in brain science and industry leaders reveal the strategies behind their success.  Combining research and practice, brain science and business leadership, Your Brain at Work explores how insights from the lab can provide solutions that work across industries and at any scale.

11. Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast

The Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast offers personal, practical coaching lessons that take the mystery out of leadership. In each episode, Craig brings you empowering insights and easy-to-understand takeaways you can use to lead yourself and lead your team. You’ll learn effective ways to grow as a leader, optimize your time, develop your team, and structure your organization.



What do you think about Franklin Reed’s recommendations? What other podcasts would you recommend?

About the Author

Reb Carlson has over ten years' experience in marketing while working at top agencies (360i, MKG, Wunderman Thompson, and Razorfish), tech companies (Sprinklr) and startups (Master & Dynamic). Based in Brooklyn, she recently started her own marketing consultancy called Mad Focused, a practice focused on helping working creatives and their businesses thrive.

More from

More Resources

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Join The FindSpark Community

Sign up for news, upcoming events, and opportunities to get involved.