2024 Women of the Year Awards: Diversity and inclusion champion – Runner-up Jennifer Smith

Jennifer Smith, President and CEO of Everything Podcasts, is a runner-up of the Diversity and inclusion champion category of the 2024 Women of the Year Awards


Jennifer Smith
President and CEO, Everything Podcasts

If you ask Jennifer Smith what made her fall in love with storytelling, she’ll tell you about purchasing her first clock radio at the age of 10. “This thing exuded conversation, curiosity, entertainment… I was allured so heavily by that,” she remembers. (Oh, and she bought it with the cash she earned from her paper route delivering the Globe and Mail—those media-supporting roots go deep.)

Smith’s been in the industry for 30 years now, and her impressive resume covers radio, television, print and digital media. She launched CBC Radio 2, the Beat 94.5FM and Roundhouse Radio 98.3FM. She helped steer OutTV (the world’s first LGBTQ+ TV channel), a network that continues to serve top-notch media to the queer community and beyond. “I started OutTV to provide support for everybody—not just the gay community, but our aunts, mothers, grandfathers,” she shares.

With that same passion for spotlighting underrepresented communities, Smith launched Vancouver-based Everything Podcasts in 2019. “In podcasting, people tend to go deeper in their stories,” she says. The company partners with local nonprofits and industry giants (ever heard of Pattison Media?) to produce engaging, accessible series, from the five-part Indigenous Voices of Vancouver Island to podcasts focusing on inequality politics, blood clot survivors and cannabis legalization. “It’s so important to shine a light on these incredible voices,” says Smith. “We have more work to do, but we’ve started—and people are listening.”