Women and girls

Women in Golf Leadership Programme maintains development

The R&A
05 Dec 22
3 mins
Women in Golf Leadership Development Programme

Women working in various roles throughout the golf industry recently graduated from The R&A’s Women in Golf Leadership Development Programme (WIGLDP) as the initiative continues to offer opportunities for career development within the sport.

The first WIGLDP was run in 2019, starting a drive to increase the number of women working at mid-to-senior levels at golf organisations around the world.. Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, the initiative has continued to progress with women from cohorts four and five graduating in recent weeks representing organisations based in a number of different countries.   The programme is organised and funded by The R&A and forms a significant part of its commitment to the Women in Golf Charter. In total, 70 women have gone through or are going through the WIGLDP and 48 women have completed the Foundation programme, with another 24 beginning earlier this month.

Confidence to progress

Jackie Davidson, Director – Golf Development at The R&A, has helped drive the activity and said, “We put the Women in Golf Leadership Development Programme in place to support women to become higher performers in their roles and give them the confidence to progress in their careers. The programme is not a course, more a journey of transformational change.   “Key to the success of the programme is the engagement of line managers to support the women within the workplace and help them develop in their positions.”  Three Golf Australia and two PGA of Australia staff were among those to see their accomplishments recently honoured, as well as women in New Zealand and Scotland. Golf Australia’s Megan Carr (Women and Girls Operations Manager), Katherine Lambert (Brand & Marketing Executive) and Janine Barney (Women’s Golf Coordinator), and the PGA of Australia’s Louise Meagher (Events Manager) and Stephanie Jamieson (Training Manager) all graduated. 
Five-time major champion and World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee, Se-Ri Pal, is among the delegates at the inaugural Women in Golf Forum in Singapore.

New opportunities

So too did Grace Rokela (Te Arai Links Marketing Director), Emily Davidson (Golf New Zealand Diversity and Inclusion Manager) and Amanda Dorans (Sustainability Manager at Loch Lomond Golf Club) in Scotland. Participants were partnered with a coach to support their learning and overcome any limitations, allowing them to become more confident in how they develop themselves, lead their teams and organisations and have the drive and ambition to become a senior leader within the golf industry. The programme also opened up new opportunities for the participants such as Lambert attending The 150th Open at St Andrews in July to assist in the delivery of marketing for the ISPS Handa Australian Open this December. “Having the chance to spend a few days at The Open to meet individuals from The R&A and be shown how they set up their championships, run the media centre, run activations in the spectator village and everything else that goes on during a major was incredible,” Lambert said. “I’m very grateful to The R&A, our mentors and my colleagues who have helped me through this fantastic programme.”

Industry mentor

Participants had an industry mentor to support them through the WIGLDP and to progress their role. The programme takes a blended learning approach with pre-work, virtual workshops and the opportunity to collaborate with other participants on a project as set by The R&A. To further expand the WIGLDP and reach more women more quickly, a ‘train the trainers’ programme is starting in different parts of the world to achieve a network of mentors and facilitators. Davidson added, “We have evolved the Foundation programme to support women at a more junior level and we will train trainers in different regions to be able to reach more women globally.”

Women’s forum

Furthermore, a women's forum is being held in Singapore on Friday 9 December to continue the drive to encourage more females into the golf industry in leadership roles and increase women and girls’ participation. Staged by The R&A, during the Hana Financial Group Singapore Women's Open, The R&A Women in Golf Forum will take place for the first time at the Tanah Merah Golf Club. With The R&A working in partnership with the Asia-Pacific Golf Confederation and the Asia Golf Leaders Forum, the event theme is the ‘growth of golf in Asia’ with various guest speakers from different organisations taking part. They include Se Ri Pak, a World Golf Hall of Fame Inductee, discussing her journey in golf. Davidson said, “We are delighted to be hosting The R&A Women in Golf Forum in Asia for the first time. The Asia-Pacific region is a powerhouse in women’s professional golf, producing more and more champions at the highest level of the game.   “But for golf to be thriving 50 years from now we would like to see even more women participating in recreational golf and enjoying successful careers within the golf industry. Through the forum we hope to inspire the future leaders of the sport and demonstrate what is possible within golf.” Find out more about the Women in Golf Charter here