Facebook Bans Dallas Opera From Promoting Applications for Hart Institute for Women Conductors

By David Salazar
(Photo courtesy of Dallas Opera)

Facebook has barred the Dallas Opera from promoting its application process for the Hart Institute for Women Conductors, claiming that such actions violate its Job Posting policies.

David Lomeli, the company’s  Director of Artistic Administration, told OperaWire that on Monday, the company had announced that the applications were open for this year’s edition of the Hart Institute for Women Conductors. But by Tuesday afternoon, the post, which had been boosted using a similar process as in previous years, was “unpublished” because it was “violating the fair practices of job postings.”

“When I clicked to get more information, we were directed to a section of the Ads legal agreement specifically highlighting the discrimination of gender. In the examples they quote that you can’t post looking for only female applications,” Lomelí told OperaWire.

A look at Facebook’s policy on discrimination cites “Only looking for female applicants” as its very first example of a discrimination violation. Other cited examples of violations include “Unmarried applicants preferred” and “No Catholic Applicants welcome.”

“It’s bizarre that this is the reason that we were banned where we are a very specific affirmative action training program,” Lomelí continued. “We just have to see the number of female conductors booked in major companies around the world and see that women are minority. We are a program that have been featured worldwide in several media outlets with more than 400 conductor applications in the past five years with more than 34 countries represented in those applications.”

The Hart Institute for Women Conductors in one of the top programs in the world that fosters and develops women conductors, preparing them for a world long dominated by male counterparts. Lomelí noted that being able to use Facebook as a platform to grow it over the past few years has been “incredibly valuable.”

“The business of classical music on social media is based in Facebook more than other platforms,” he continued. “Instagram and Twitter are close, but Facebook is still has the greatest audience in our line of business.”