What does a major golf tournament taking place at a major golf club which has fought to retain its males’ only membership do?
What does a major Fortune 500 corporate sponsor do when its newly elected female CEO cannot attend because she cannot become a member?
The Augusta National Golf Club is where the Master’s Gold Tournament is taking place and where Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM, the leading corporate sponsor.
It seems Ms. Rometty, for whatever reason, did not press the matter and the Augusta National Golf Club is still safe for its male members.
But, why is this a issue for women? Because it’s not about the golf; it’s about business and women business leaders.
What happens on the course and in the club house is an extension of American business. Decisions, alliances and deals among the business and corporate leaders occur here and may be even more powerful than what occurs in boardrooms and business meetings.
Here’s the score card —
- Ms. Rometty is the newly appointed CEO of IBM, the leading sponsor of The Masters.
- Augusta National Golf Club has it members wear green jackets, but couldn’t come to terms for making them in a size that fits women, let alone a female CEO.
- IBM didn’t want to lose the prestige of being a corporate sponsor and gave them the sponsorship money anyway, even though their CEO was automatically denied membership.
- Ms. Rometty is denied the opportunity to meet and do business with other business and corporate leaders at The Masters and the Augusta National Golf Club.
- IBM caved to the old boy’s club and damaged its favorable women friendly business ranking.
What’s interesting is that Augusta couldn’t even make an accommodation, perhaps offering a special guest membership for the tournament. It seems they are unable to think ahead of a future with more women business leaders and CEO’s with the money to be corporate sponsors.
Sounds like they’re still stuck in their own sand trap.
You Can Find Me At -