Pollstar Live! Preview: Ali Harnell’s ‘Women & The Road 3’

Ali Harnell
Courtesy Live Nation
– Ali Harnell
Ali Harnell/Live Nation

Ali Harnell, president and chief strategy officer of  Women Nation / Live Nation, heads up “Women & The Road 3,” during Pollstar Live!, a panel featuring Sara Bollwinkel, Paradigm Talent Agency; Kelly Clague, EM.Co; Jessica Koravos, OVG International / Really Useful Group; and Lesley Olenik, Live Nation.

Harnell reaches her first anniversary in her post atop Women Nation on March 31, and she tells Pollstar her singular focus for nearly the last year has been on gender equity and diversity throughout the industry through initiatives aimed at improving opportunities for women, making sure they have resources they need to be successful, and addressing work conditions for them on the road. 

A major, ongoing project For Ali in the new year is, “Oprah’s 2020 Vision: Your life In Focus Tour.” 

Women & The Road 3 takes place Wednesday at 11:15 a.m. in the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s International Ballroom.

POLLSTAR: What key issues will be discussed at your panel?

ALI HARNELL: We put together a panel of different women at different points in their career. They each doing their own kind of specific but different thing that’s representing what it’s like to be a woman on the road.

Kelly Clague, one of Tim McGraw’s managers forever is develop an initiative called Safe Tour that I think she is going to announce during the panel. It’s an accreditation of sorts to address safety and other issues for women, and to make sure  there’s equity.

What new trends are you seeing your corner of the industry either ads it relates to your panel or otherwise?

Since I’ve taken this role at Women Nation, I am always interested in what affects women. I don’t give a shit about companies trying to get with the program, I am interested in the program itself. It does feel like more companies are hiring and promoting more women and that’s been the trend I want to see.

 If a kerfuffle were to break out in between panelists and/or audience member what might the issue over?

It might be over the idea of mandatory equality, hiring and interviewing the same numbers of women as men, and so on. Sometimes the resistance is generational and hierarchical. How do we change the algorithm? I think #MeToo is still an issue because the music industry hasn’t had its real #MeToo moment yet.0

What are you looking most forward to at this year’s conference?

I’m going to be in and out because I’m working on the Oprah tour, but the day of my panel I am definitely interested in seeing the Nicki Minaj and Irving Azoff session. That’s going to be incredible.

What was your favorite live performance of the last few years?

Any event on the Oprah tour!