A few months after taking over as IBM CEO came an interesting test of leadership for Ginni Rometty – Augusta, home of the Masters, which until this week did not admit female members.
It has long been a tradition that the CEO of IBM is a member of the Augusta National golf club. They are a huge sponsor of The Masters. This, and Rometty’s gender, were mentioned around the time of this year’s tournament, which she attended wearing a pink jacket, as USA Today noted.
The jacket was the statement. Rometty said nothing.
I had been meaning to call this out but then I saw Dana Blankenhorn got there first, so I quote him above. Bottom line: this week, many months later, Augusta admitted its first two female members, Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and South Carolina financier Darla Moore.
Its pretty clear that Rometty and IBM Corporation drove the change. IBM has a long history of diversity milestones, and cracking open Augusta is just the latest. In a world where many US CEOs shoot their mouths off first, ask questions later, its good to see IBM continue with a quiet and effective execution-focused leadership style.
IBM is a client.