Since initial auditions are done blind, the members of the committee had not realized that their best trombone candidate was (gasp) a woman named Abbie Conant. In spite of her XX composition, they let her finish the audition process and hired her. However, shortly after Ms. Conant arrived, her fellow musician's latent fear of vaginas began to show. For the rest of her career, Ms. Conant was exposed to a scale of sexist bullshit that deserves a medal for its scope, audacity and stupidity.
After two years of probation and rave reviews, she was mysteriously demoted. When she questioned why, the conductor said, "You know the problem, we need a man for the solo trombone." Subtle!
"Your lungs are a little too emotional and high pitched for our tastes."
Subsequently, Ms. Conant was forced to submit to a physical exam determining her fitness to play her instrument. And when the orchestra demanded that she be evaluated musically, she came up with over 95 people to vouch for her, while the orchestra could only find two schmucks who couldn't make it anyway. The end result of this evaluation was praise so glowing that it rivaled Chernobyl in the moonlight.
So how have things progressed since then? Well, for starters, the Munich Philharmonic stopped auditioning people behind screens to avoid making the terrible mistake of hiring a talented woman. Their sister orchestra in Vienna only started allowing women as full members in 1997, after which point they hired ... four women. In the U.S., things are comparatively better: about 35 percent of the orchestra is female. Still, women have a 7.5 percent better chance of being hired if they audition behind a screen so that the hiring committee isn't crushed by the power of breasts.
"I can't even wave my baton without hitting an ovary around here."