Corporate golf

by Fredrik Savin on 19/04/2008 · 0 comments

I recently wrote a report in a course called Management of Human Resources at Cass Business School on General Electric (GE) and its Human Resource Management (HRM) practices. When researching for this report, I came across a very interesting article published by The Economist, a news and international affairs publication, on golf and the game’s importance in business.

GE, for example, is famous for being a ‘golf company’. Jack Welsh, the company’s famous ex-boss, is according to many the best golfing CEO of all times and golf has over the years become an essential tool within the company for any manager looking to move up the career ladder. The Economist claims that Welsh used the game as a character test to see whether a person had the guts to work for his organisation. Many other organisations value the game very highly too. For example, John Mack, the boss of Morgan Stanley, is said to have made it a habit to appoint golfing friends to the board.

The Economist addresses a very interesting and important issue in the article. Is it possible that there’s a correlation between the very low number of female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and the fact that they don’t get the opportunity to play golf with the male counterparts (e.g. because of mens-only clubs such as Augusta National in the US)? On the rare occasions when women get to play golf with their male colleagues, they play off a different tee. At the time of print, there were only eleven female CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and sadly, I don’t think the number has increased dramatically since then.

What’s your option? Do you think it’s possible that there’s a correlation between the very low number of female CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies and the fact that they don’t get the opportunity to play golf with their male counterparts?

You can read the original article here.

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