Accountancy firm offers free golf lessons to female staff

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 21, 2021 11:08

One of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms in the UK, EY, has said it is offering free golf lessons to some of its female staff so that they don’t miss out on networking opportunities.

According to The Times, female consultants in a London-based division have been offered the golf lessons as part of a diversity drive.

It is understood that a female partner who joined recently from overseas feared that so much internal networking took place between male partners on the golf course that there was a risk women would be excluded from making any decisions, adds the paper.

‘EY, along with other services networks including Deloitte, KPMG and PwC, preach diversity and inclusion. Employees say, however, that skill in an exclusive sport puts workers at an advantage climbing the corporate ladder.

‘Knowing the difference between a putter and a driver at EY could give an employee the edge to make it to the top.’

Ina Kjaer, 46, a former KPMG partner, said it was “absolutely” an advantage at the so-called Big Four firms to be good at sports, such as golf or skiing.

But she added that golf lessons could “perpetuate” the problem rather than solve it.

“If you don’t fit in to what they think the thing is that you should fit in with . . . you can be as good as you want but you won’t get on,” she said.

Last year 32 percent of partners at British consulting firms were women, the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) reported, up from 21 percent in 2019. The number of women working in consulting firms overall has fallen, making up 42 percent last year, compared with 49 percent in 2019. At EY, which employs 17,000 people in Britain, 24 percent of partners are women.

A 23-year-old woman on EY’s graduate scheme told the paper that she would take up golf lessons if they were on offer in her division. “It is something that some of my colleagues do,” she said. “But I would do it as more of a social thing, rather than something I feel I have to do to network.”

Recent figures show that golf became more popular among women during the pandemic, with 25 percent of female players trying it for the first time in the last year.

Martin Wild, chairman of the British Golf Industry Association, said: “Sales of ladies’ equipment has gone through the roof for all brands.”

 

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir July 21, 2021 11:08
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4 Comments

  1. Women in Golf and Business July 26, 20:38

    Fanatstic news, golf can offers so much to ‘women in business, #womeninbusinesss #womeningolfandbusiness

    Reply to this comment
  2. 59club July 20, 17:31

    Why wouldn’t this be to any employee – don’t get that at all

    Reply to this comment
  3. JS July 19, 20:47

    I expect they will be offering their male staff cooking lessons soon !

    Reply to this comment
  4. Emma July 19, 17:11

    This is great but should be to all their employees! Not all men in finance play golf already!

    Reply to this comment
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