So much going on in the world, you may not have noticed that the mighty I.B.M., a singular icon of big men taking care of big business, is now run by a lovely lady named Virginia.
Virginia Rometty officially accepted the top job at I.B.M. in January. Did she know that one of her first challenges would be the Masters golf tournament?
No, she's no golf champ, but she's the new public face of the tournament's premier sponsor, and even non-golfers know that the Masters is held in Augusta, Georgia on a course that has never, ever admitted women members. The Masters is independent from the rules of the PGA, but they pretend to respect them: Women can play the Augusta course, but they’re denied that ooky-looking Members Only green jacket that CBS News called ”a status symbol in business and golf.”
The Masters admitted its first black member in 1990. Women, not so much.
Rometty v. Masters wouldn’t be SUCH a big deal if only the Masters didn’t have a tradition of offering a membership to every I.B.M. C.E.O. Oopsies.
It appears that I.B.M. won't pull its sponsorship this year, neither because of Ms. Rometty per se, nor because it’s the right danged thing to do. Neither will the Masters take this easy PR opportunity to change its archaic, close-minded rules.
If you’ve guessed that Virginia Rometty is a NotMom, you’re right. She’s the 29th woman to serve as CEO of a Fortune 500 company. The NY Times reports that 18 of them have children, tracking significantly below the 87% of married U.S. women who have children. No surprise there. And I suppose, no surprises in Augusta, either.