Teeing off: More women are hitting the links as a way to conduct business, just like their male counterparts. The Executive Women’s Golf Association will be starting a Bermuda chapter. There will be two informational meetings for those ladies interested in joining. *Photo supplied
Teeing off: More women are hitting the links as a way to conduct business, just like their male counterparts. The Executive Women’s Golf Association will be starting a Bermuda chapter. There will be two informational meetings for those ladies interested in joining. *Photo supplied
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FRIDAY, AUGUST 17: More Bermuda companies have women as CEOs and sitting on boards than there were a decade ago.

And now women are looking to use the one of the Good Old Boys favourite networking tools – the golf course.

A group of women have formed a Bermuda chapter Executive Women’s Golf Association.

Worldwide, there are 20,000 women who belong to the EWGA in 125 countries, with Bermuda being the latest chapter.

Spokesperson Kathleen Young said: “This initiative has been initially funded by the Department of Tourism and fully supported by the golf directors from the golf courses.

“This is not only an exciting opportunity for women of Bermuda but also for tourism in Bermuda because of the reach that the EWGA has.”

The DOT has put up the initial $2,500 chapter fee as the Bermuda group gets formed. Young said the corporate sponsors of the EWGA include the PGA, Golf Digest, Golf World and the Golf Channel.

“Its members spend $66.4 million annually in the golf industry, and members travel around the world and will look to spend their funds in organizations that support the EWGA.

“We are looking at holding information sessions at Port Royal on August 23 and Tuckers Point on Sept 5 where we hope to attract women in Bermuda who are interested in golf to come out and learn about the EWGA and hopefully join the EWGA Bermuda Chapter.”

Besides Young, other committee members for Bermuda include Gina Bassett, Ann Symonds, Aeysha Simons, Elizabeth Carpio, Katyna Rabain, Frances Trott.

Bassett said she was approached by Andrew Brooks from Port Royal to help form a local chapter, something that was a little daunting as she was in the midst of planning her own wedding.

Bassett, a credit portfolio manager at HSBC, said her initial reaction was “No way — there’s so much to do but then I realized it’s a really positive thing for Bermuda and the women of Bermuda so I decided to go ahead and take the challenge.”

The HSBC manager has been golfing since she was eight and sports a 14 handicap, stressed that the EWGA is open to women for all ranges of ability from Bermuda champions to those who have yet to pick up a club and the makeup of the committee reflects that.

Comfortable

She added the group’s newsletter will be called “Breaking the Grass Ceiling.”

“Golf has been the boardroom that women don’t enter. I would love it to be an environment where women are comfortable in that environment too.”

Ms Bassett said one of the short-term goals would be to have women come from other chapters “for fun, recreation and golf, as well as to compete.”

To that aim, 24 women from other chapters are coming down ahead of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf in October and will play at Port Royal on the Sunday before the tournament.

“They will play at different golf courses while they are here and network with us.”

The women will play at Belmont on the Monday of the Grand Slam.