It shouldn't matter the sex of the person on the podium, but it's nice to see some 'traditions' are being broken.
I remember seeing Marin Alsop conduct the Colorado Symphony way back when she was still the Music Director. I remember the headlines when she moves from Colorado to Baltimore to become the first female conductor of a major US orchestra. I started following her career watching what she did with the Cabrillo New Music Festival in California, and reading about her exploits in Europe and Asia. She was quickly becoming the woman to watch on the podium.
Several years later I was treated to a brief conversation with her about new music and her advocacy for composers and the performance of new music. As a composer, her support was trilling. She continues to thrill audiences around the world proving it isn't the sex of the person on the podium, but their passion for the music that makes the difference. Over the past 15 years, I have been blessed to see many of the greatest conductors alive today and rank Marin easily in the top ten. She is just that good!
In 2008 Marin Alsop was chosen as Musical America’s Conductor,. She was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2010 and the only classical musician to be included in The Guardian’s “Top 100 women." In 2012 Alsop was presented with Honorary Membership (HonRAM) of the Royal Academy of Music, London. Her credits are many, and she's still on the rise.
She is breaking another barrier, conducting the finale of the 2013 BBC Proms, becoming the first female to do so.
from Reuters: US conductor becomes first woman to lead UK's Proms finale
On another note: Eimear Noone, another female conductor, is conducting the Pacific Symphony tonight, premiering the "Leah" theme from the award winning music from the video game Diablo III which Eimear conducted with the Pacific Symphony. I watched her in rehearsal today. Where Marin is paving the way, there appears to be another conductor interested in catching up.