New OLA Women’s Forum will promote female leadership

Políticas de género en teatros iberoamericanos

During the 16th Annual Conference of Opera Latinoamérica, the Women’s Forum was founded, which plans to support and encourage the participation of women in the sector, in addition to providing tools to train women leading roles. This new platform joins other forums such as the Technical and Communications and Marketing, which have their own lines of work promoted by members of the teams of those areas of the theatres and companies that are members of OLA.


In the midst of conversations, production markets and workshops on collaboration and innovation in the management of organizations linked to music and classical performing arts, during the 16th Annual Conference of Ópera Latinoamérica (OLA) -held between 17 and 21 May – a breakfast was held with the participation of the women who attended the meeting in Manaus. During the activity, they discussed the challenges faced by female leadership in theatres and opera sector, which led to the founding of the OLA Women’s Forum.


“Female leadership is naturally collaborative, therefore, this forum is very similar to OLA’s work, which promotes cooperation. The central focus of this instance is to identify and support women who have leadership roles in the sector, whatever their profession or specific area of work, because these people are agents of change. And that fits very well with OLA’s vision of promoting networking and innovation. For example, we have already advanced a lot in theatres and there are more and more women in leadership positions, but there is still a lot to be done in terms of artistic creation,” says Alejandra Martí, executive director of Ópera Latinoamérica.


“It is an initiative which inspiration is to generate a network of contacts and to support to promote presence and participation of women in the world of opera” — Carmen Gloria Larenas, general director of Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Chile).


Currently, OLA member theatres have many women in leadership roles in general directors, artistic, communications and marketing and technical management, among other areas. In addition, both the board of directors and the administrative team of OLA are mostly female. In this context, the OLA Women’s Forum is inserted as a space for the promotion and training of women leaders linked to this sector, including professionals from the management, artistic and technical fields.



“It is an initiative which inspiration is to generate a network of contacts and support us to favor the presence and participation of women in the world of opera, so there is much to be done. This is very good news and, after these difficult years that we have been through, the conference marks the beginning of a new stage for all our organisations”, comments Carmen Gloria Larenas, general director of Municipal Theatre of Santiago (Chile).


The OLA Women’s Forum will promote an intersectoral and international agenda, which includes having its own spaces at conferences, leadership workshops, mentoring, among other initiatives. “The creation of the Women’s Forum reflects on the vision that the organization has in addressing national and international contingency issues. The perspective of women within the workplace must be analyzed from different points of view, in order to allow and permeate organisations to take better and more positive practices around the work of women in different sectors”, concludes Victoria Flores, executive director of  Maule Regional Theatre (Chile).