Leading women working across the golf industry have expressed delight at the early progress of The R&A’s new Women in Golf Leadership Development Programme.
With huge opportunities to grow golf globally through the increased participation of women and girls at all levels on and off the course, there remains a significant focus to help drive a more inclusive culture worldwide.
Earlier this summer, The R&A launched the Leadership Development Programme, part of the organisation’s ongoing commitment to the Women in Golf Charter.
Development and progression
The programme is open to signatories of the Charter and is aimed at supporting the development and progression of women who have the potential to become future leaders within the golf industry.
A pioneering group of 11 delegates met for the first time during the AIG Women’s British Open at Woburn and travelled to St Andrews for a first two-day workshop in late September. Each individual is sponsored by a senior manager within their team/organisation, who also must give their commitment to engaging in the planned sessions.
“The impact the Women in Golf Leadership Development Programme has had on me already, both as a leader and as a person, is amazing,” admitted Manon Eggermont, Director – Tournament Team, for EDGA. “It is a privilege to be one of the pioneers for this amazing programme, to be able to learn so much myself and also to give The R&A the feedback to optimise following programmes.
“Our work so far has included a ‘leading self workshop’, helping us to lead ourselves, build a brand house, self-reflect on our leadership stories, how to handle feedback and make us stronger to be ready for the next level.
“I’m not afraid anymore to act, to do my work so much more efficiently and with so much joy. I hope this programme will assist many more women to develop themselves and to give them the great experience we already have.
“The connection within this group of pioneers and the organisation is very strong and makes it therefore so easy to open up and really discover yourself. The programme makes me more focused than ever to becoming a better me.”
Although the first programme is being delivered in Great Britain and Ireland, participants joined the first group from Canada and central Europe. In due course, it is hoped the programme can be offered in different regions of The R&A’s jurisdiction.
Whitney Gorges, Manager – Partnerships at Golf Canada, added: “The programme has been an incredible opportunity to come together with like-minded industry peers to build my leadership skillset, develop new competencies and tap into the experiences of really dynamic thought leaders.
Catalyst for change
“I applaud The R&A on this meaningful initiative as a catalyst to drive more female representation in leadership positions across the global golf landscape. I’m also thankful to Golf Canada for stewarding me towards this unique development opportunity – it is a huge honour to have been selected to participate in the inaugural programme which has provided me a really unique lens through which to examine and measure my personal and professional growth.”
The Women in Golf Charter aims to increase women and girls’ participation and membership in golf, attract more families to enjoy golf as a leisure activity and encourage more opportunities for women to work and volunteer in the golf industry.
To date, over 150 organisations have given their commitment to the Charter, pledging to build on current initiatives and develop new projects to increase the number of women, girls and families playing golf, as well as giving women wider opportunities to enjoy careers and volunteering.
These include national federations such as Golf Canada – which held its inaugural Women’s Leadership Summit last year linked to the staging of the CP Women’s Open – Golf Australia, Argentine Golf Association, Czech Republic Golf Federation, New Zealand Golf, the Italian Golf Federation, the Swedish Golf Federation, England Golf, Scottish Golf, Wales Golf and Zambia Golf Union.
Other organisations who have adopted the Charter include the PGA TOUR, the European Tour, the Ladies’ European Tour, The Professional Golfers’ Association, the Golf Foundation, EDGA, the ANNIKA Foundation, IMG, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (UK Government), Ulster University and the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Golf. Mastercard, the official card of The Open, was also the first R&A Patron to sign up.
Thanks to the success of the inaugural Women in Golf Leadership Development Programme, a second series was recently launched and has now closed.
To note interest in the Women in Golf Leadership Development programme, please contact Jackie Davidson, Assistant Director Golf Development, at: firstname.lastname@example.org