Carrie Underwood on Country Radio: 'Strong Women Who Totally Deserve It Are Not Getting the Same Opportunities'

Jeff Kravitz/ACMA2018/FilmMagic for ACM
Carrie Underwood performs onstage during the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 15, 2018 in Las Vegas.

Carrie Underwood recently sat down with Elaina Smith of the Women Want to Hear Women podcast, where the conversation turned to the gender disparity in country radio -- and the lack of female representation on the airwaves.

"Even when I was growing up, I wished there was more women on the radio, and I had a lot more than there are today," Underwood said. "I think about all the little girls that are sitting at home saying, 'I want to be a country music singer.' What do you tell them, you know? What do you do? How do you look at them and say, 'Well, just work hard, sweetie, and you can do it' when that's probably not the case right now? I see so many girls out there busting their rear ends and so many guys out there where some new guy has a No. 1 and I'm like, 'Well, good for you, that's great, but who are you? What's happening?' And then these strong women who are super talented that totally deserve it are not getting the same opportunities. But how to change it? I don't know. How do we change it?"

One way that Underwood is working to do that is by taking female artists out on the road with her for her forthcoming Cry Pretty Tour 360, which kicks off in May 2019 and features openers Maddie & Tae and Runaway June. Underwood told Smith she hopes that doing so will help normalize all-female bills.

"First and foremost, they've earned it," she said. "I'm not throwing anybody a bone by taking them out on tour with me. They deserve to be there and they're gonna put on a great show, and I'm already proud of all that they've done. I'm a fan, you know? But it's good when women support women... And I feel like the more we do of that and the more normal it is, why would I not want to take women out on the road with me? Why would anybody feel like 'Oh, well I'm a girl, so I better have a guy'?"

The pair also discussed the ways the music industry tends to pit female artists against each other, with Underwood insisting competition with other women couldn't be further from her mind.

"None of us feel that way towards each other," she said. "Any time I hear some lady -- some strong, awesome, talented woman on the radio with a great song -- I'm like, 'Heck yeah!' I don't ever think like 'Aw man!' It never enters my mind. And I feel like the more we can talk about that and be like 'Please don't put me on your Top Whatever list... just don't do it,' the more people will be like 'Oh.' Maybe they don't think anything of it. Maybe they don't realize it's offensive. That's why we've gotta tell 'em."

Listen to Underwood's complete appearance on the Women Want to Hear Women podcast below.