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Empowering Words From #NPRWomen

A black and white collage of NPR Women who host various shows.

Womanhood has long informed the voice of NPR. In 1972, NPR's Susan Stamberg became the first woman to anchor a national nightly news program. She remained at the helm of All Things Considered for 14 years, she then hosted Weekend Edition Sunday, and is still on the air frequently reporting on cultural issues. The current roster of Morning Edition and All Things Considered hosts includes: Audie Cornish, Ailsa Chang, Lulu Garcia-Navarro, Mary Louise Kelly, Noel King, Michel Martin and Rachel Martin.

Aside from the informative coverage these women put out every day on-air, off-air they also provide inspiration for aspiring women in media and otherwise. If you aren't convinced, read through these empowering interview moments from some of NPR's finest.

Ailsa Chang, Co-host of All Things Considered and Planet Money Correspondent, in Poynter.

Ailsa Chang,Planet Money host, 2017. Sandy Honig/NPR
Sandy Honig / NPR

On the mission that drives her forward: "The mission is fundamentally the same in each: it's about excellent journalism and compelling audio storytelling. And the people who populate both spaces float back and forth."

Audie Cornish, Co-host of All Things Considered, in Washingtonian

Audie Cornish at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., May 22, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
Allison Shelley / NPR

On interviewing people: "Maybe NPR trains you for that—finding that little bit of information that makes people do the head tilt and say, 'Huh! I didn't know that.' That's my idea of getting a little golden nugget."

Lulu Garcia-Navarro, host of Weekend Edition Sunday, featured in Vox

Lourdes Garcie-Navarro, 2016. Stephen Voss/NPR.
Stephen Voss / NPR

On representation: "It's no longer like, 'Oh, wouldn't it be great if we had people of color,' or, 'Oh, wouldn't it be great if we had more women?' It is actually existential now for the media. And I think they have recognized that. Because we can no longer just pretend that the changes that are happening in wider society don't affect and influence us. We have to reflect that."

Mary Louise Kelly, Co-host of All Things Considered, in Vogue

Mary Louise Kelly at the NPR Headquarters in Washington. Eric Lee/NPR.
Eric Lee / NPR

On her promotion following an impactful #MeToo interview: "It certainly won't be lost on anyone that the female journalist who went and questioned our CEO—a move that my mother was convinced would get me fired, grilling my boss on air—that they ended up promoting that person."

Noel King, Co-host of Morning Edition and Up First, in Poynter

Noel King, Planet Money and Morning Edition host, 2017. Sandy Honig/NPR
Sandy Honig / NPR

On how working in podcasting informed her position as a storyteller: "The goal is the same: do excellent work, pull people in, keep them listening. Working in podcasting has taught me an enormous amount about storytelling and crafting a narrative. That's hard to pull off in a short interview, or when news is breaking. But there are lessons I've learned in longform, that are just as applicable in hosting."

Michel Martin, weekend host of All Things Considered, in Poynter

Michel Martin, 2013. Stephen Voss/NPR.
Stephen Voss / NPR

On what her role is really about: "I think one of the things that we hope to do in our field ... is show people that you can have these conversations, important ones, difficult ones, painful ones, but you can have them and have them in a way that are constructive. That's gonna be our task going forward. That's gonna be our task every day."

Rachel Martin, co-host of Morning Edition and Up First, in CJR

NPR Election coverage on November 8, 2016, in Washington, DC. Election Night, 2016. Stephen Voss/NPR.
Stephen Voss / NPR

On her goals as a host: "The whole reason I got into journalism is because I firmly believe, with every ounce of my soul, that the way forward for our country, our common humanity, is to try to understand the experience of others. Empathy, trying to relate to people who aren't like you, to stop other-izing people who come from a different religion, ethnic identity, geographic location. It's why I got into journalism—to try to draw those connections between people. "

In fact, an impressive group of women are part of NPR's news leadership team: Senior Vice President of News - Nancy Barnes, Executive Editor - Edith Chapin, Acting Vice President of News; Sarah Gilbert, Managing Editor - Sara Goo. Leading the shows: Executive Producer, All Things Considered - Carline Watson, Executive Producer, Morning Edition Kenya Young, Weekend Edition EP -Sarah Oliver, All Things Considered Weekend EP Natalie Winston. And heading our desks: Washington desk head - Beth Donovan, National desk head - Vickie Walton James, Art desk head - Ellen Silva, and Science desk head - Andrea Kissack.

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