By Michael Davis
IT comes as no surprise to learn there is a dearth of women in the golf industry.
But there are many different career pathways available for women in golf and a recent webinar series has helped spread that message.
The series – Careers in Golf – was backed by the PGA of Australia, WPGA, Golf Australia and Golf Management Australia.
It promoted the variety of career opportunities that exist in golf for women. The aim of the sessions was to inspire and inform women and girls about future career opportunities.
“It’s important for our industry to showcase the leadership of women in golf,” says Chyloe Kurdas, Female Engagement Senior Manager at Golf Australia.
“We want to provide both inspiration and aspiration for girls making their future career decisions or older women exploring career transition options to join the golf industry workforce.”
Across the three nights of webinars, nine guest speakers highlighted their experiences and pathways into their current positions. The sports administration webinar that kicked off the series put a spotlight on opportunities available to women in the events, marketing and communications and golf development areas.
Golf Australia employees Michelle Hui (National Events Manager), Sharna Faralla (Regional Development Officer) and Kirsty Wrice (Digital and Communications Co-ordinator) each spoke about their vastly different pathways into the industry.
They also identified the importance of taking up opportunities like internships to build relationships and experience.
The second session was the coaching and small business webinar that followed the stories of PGA professional Ali Orchard (Surfers Paradise GC and RACV Royal Pines), Natalie McIlroy (PGA’s General Manager of Tournaments and Events) and Nicole Martino (PGA Professional and Golf Manager, West Australian Golf Club).
These inspiring women each revealed how they put their best foot forward to succeed in typically male-dominated roles and articulated the role of the PGA membership pathway program in becoming a teaching professional and running a business.
PGA of Australia Training Manager Stephanie Jamieson said: The PGA of Australia is committed to growing the number of females within the golf industry.
“The webinar series was an excellent opportunity to exhibit the array of career pathways available within the industry and the women who are currently excelling within them.”
The finals episode informed career-seeking women about the array of opportunities available to them within golf clubs and facilities.
Geraldine O’Callaghan (Foreman Sandringham Golf Links, Royal Melbourne Golf Club), Karen Quinn (Director of Sport, Royal Sydney GC) and Tracy Odgers (Secretary Manager, Beerwah GC) are prime examples of the diversity of roles available at both large and small golf facilities.
They also highlighted the transferable skills and experiences that can be brought from outside the golf industry. Cathy Neagle at GMA said: “GMA was delighted to have the opportunity participate in the webinar series Careers in Golf and to highlight the vast career opportunities for women that exist in club and facilities management.
“We had a remarkable line-up of women who shared their work stories, suggestions and career tips.”
About 100 women and teenagers attended the sessions with feedback suggesting they appreciated the opportunity to learn and hear from an all-female cast.
Panelists and participants said they enjoyed the webinar experience. The hope is that many more women will be contributing to our great game in the future.