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Meet Audra Agen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Audra Agen.

Hi Audra, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I’m a busy professional woman in a male-dominated field. Throughout my 25+ year career, I’ve had to continually prove that I’m good enough to be in the same ranks as the men, essentially outworking and outperforming all of them just to get a fraction of the recognition. I simply accepted this as the reality of this is how it is for us as women. But then something remarkable happened. In November of 2019, I received my yearly review.

During that review, I was praised as a valuable asset to the organization and rewarded with a sizable raise. Not more than two weeks later, I was told that my position was eliminated and they felt that I no longer had the skills to do the job. Ummmm… what? What happened in the last two weeks? Then it dawned on me… the leadership (male) didn’t think that my contributions were valuable to them. As I took a step back and looked at the larger picture, they didn’t value any of the women around me or their contributions.

It was in that instant that I knew that the problem wasn’t me or the women around me – they are brilliant by the way- it’s perpetuated a culture that still persists that we are caught up in. So I went looking for aides to help correct this course. I went looking for women that I could connect and share experiences with to create a new plan on how to change our culture for the better and move us all forward. To my dismay, I couldn’t find any that promoted the opportunity for everyday women to share the value that they contribute to the world every single day and nurture connection as a community.

It was that lack of access and connection that inspired me to create my own platform. Women in the Arena Podcast was created because there is a void that desperately needs to be filled. This is a platform that is a safe place where everyday women can share their stories of vulnerability, transparency, successes, and learning experiences (I believe the only true failure is not trying at all) with other women (and a few brave men) and unite with the common threads that tie us together and learn from our differences.

What started out as an experiment has now grown into a movement that reaches 48 countries.  My guests come from all walks of life; it is a cornerstone of my platform to be inclusive and diverse to represent all of the beautiful women of this world. It is my desire that my audience sees themselves represented in my guests and understand that regardless of their country of origin, native language, religion, race, sexual orientation, political affiliation, or profession we are united as women.

When we start to operate in the mindset of “you are my greatest asset” rather than “you are my greatest competition”, it is then that we can change the narrative and change the world for the better.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Oh absolutely not. I had no idea how to even start a podcast.

My son helped me initially until I got the hang of it. And social media still confuses me, but I understand that it is a valuable tool to expose your voice to the world. So I had to learn that too. None of this has been easy. There has been lots of trial and error and of course, I’ve learned the most through the errors.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a one-woman show. I am the host, editor, producer, and social media manager. Everything I have done has been created through organic growth. In the beginning, my guests were my friends. Through word of mouth, other women started to hear about my show and reach out to me to be a guest, and then they would refer more women to me.

It has literally grown one woman, one interview at a time. The only rules for my guests are to be truthful, vulnerable, and authentic. Come as you are. I think this, combined with the fact that our conversations are completely organic and unscripted is what sets me apart from other shows. I also meet with each and every guest ahead of our recording to get to know one another; this makes for a more comfortable experience when it’s showtime.

Each one of these women comes into the show trusting that I will take care of them in the conversation. That trust is a sacred thing since I am asking so much of them. Because of that trust, every one of these women has changed me in some way. You can’t help but be changed since every single one of them shares a small piece of themselves that they don’t usually show to the world.

That is special.

What do you think about luck?
You know the saying about luck. Luck is when hard work and opportunity intersect.

Each step of this journey has led to all kinds of opportunities, both big and small. I stay committed to not only the hard work but the willingness to recognize opportunity in the most unlikely places.

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