Paul McGinley, the victorious 2014 Ryder Cup golf captain, has compared the challenge facing women aiming for top positions in business to his own campaign to come “from the back of the pack” to gain the captaincy ahead of better-known rivals.
Mr McGinley was speaking at a meeting of mostly women in business at the InterContinental hotel in Dublin.
The event was held as part of Investec’s Women in Leadership programme, and was chaired by Vodafone Ireland chief executive and Dublin Chamber of Commerce deputy vice president, Anne O’Leary.
The golfer described how he was not at first considered a front runner for the 2014 captaincy, and was behind a number of major winners in the pecking order.
He said he used his networking skills and behaved “politically” to “manoeuvre” himself into position for the role.
This included briefing media off the record, joining players’ committees and establishing himself as captain of the Britain and Ireland team for the Seve Trophy.
Mr McGinley drew a parallel between his campaign of networking and behind-the-scenes lobbying, and the efforts that some women must undertake to secure top executive roles ahead of their male counterparts.
“You have to keep networking, use sounding boards and put yourself into a strong position,” he said.
The golfer pointed to the “huge attrition rate” for women in business as they rise up the seniority ranks: “Some of those issues can be fixed through communicating well, networking and being political.”
Aisling Dodgson, head of treasury at Investec, told the meeting that 40 per cent of Investec’s management team is female.
She said that an increasing number of events focused on women business leaders were helping to “raise the profile” of female managers.
Ms Dodgson also said ambitious women in business should take up sport.
Courtesy of the Irish Times