Since the BBC revelations last month when the salaries bands for male and female TV personalities they employed were published, the Gender Pay Gap has become a headline grabber for all the wrong reasons – but what does it have to do with golf?
In Scotland, quite a lot it seems and for a highly positive reason too.
Recently there was an interesting debate as part of the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open programme of events about Putting Gender on the Agenda. Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party Ruth Davidson, spoke about gender inequality at the Aberdeen Asset Management Leadership Forum ahead of the Ladies Scottish Open.
Ruth’s panel, ‘empowering women in business and politics’, included Petra Wetzel, entrepreneur and founder of WEST Brewery, Rachel Short, Director at Why Women Work, and Lucy O’Carroll, Chief Economist, Aberdeen Asset Management. The panel discussed the issues women face in business and at work and the ‘systematic and unknown bias’ of the Gender Pay Gap.
Interestingly, it seems golf has transformed its approach gender equality this year and not just by holding a highly publicised debate. For the first time the ladies open was played at the same course as the men’s following on from their tournament. This comes from a ground breaking co-sanctioning agreement between Ladies European Tour (LET) and Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). Female golfers have seen the prize fund triple, which makes the Aberdeen Asset Management Ladies Scottish Open the highest prize fund event on the Ladies European Tour outside the Majors.
This is an overdue but highly welcomed move for the sport and it’s a strong message is coming from the event sponsor Aberdeen Asset Management. We all know the UK investment and savings industry, which has campaigning and lobbying organisations like the Diversity Project, needs to move into a more diverse world and quickly too.
Let’s hope other professions – not just sport and finance – take note when it comes to debating gender issues in the workplace and implementing the change when it comes to equality, the gender pay gap and diversity.