Oh for Pete’s sake – now we read in the newspaper that the best way for a woman to succeed in business is to play golf, a traditionally male game, because ‘it’s good for business.’ My colleague Andi Shiraz sent me the link to this article on women taking up the game of golf, for the benefit of their business networking.
Now, I’m a huge networker, and I think women should do exactly what they want. But I also think it’s very sad that women would feel that they need to spend their leisure time doing something that men do, on the premise that it’s men’s turf where business networking happens. How, after all, can we change the paradigm that says “MEN = BUSINESS” if we agree to make our play activities men’s activities, just because that’s where business networking has happened in the past?
Doesn’t business networking happen at preschool, at the book club meetings, and at the gym?
Here’s Andi’s take on the issue, from her blog.
I agree with Andi. If you like to play golf because it’s fun, more power to you. If you do it – or take up auto racing or any other sport or activity simply because you believe that the male spheres are the ones where all the action is – then I think that’s troubling. What’s next – we women should hang out at sports bars and the racetrack to meet businessmen to network with? When do we create the business networking ecosystem that doesn’t rely on the old, male standards?
Especially in light of the big brouhaha surrounding the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, it strikes me as odd that women would so willingly sign onto the tired old male networking routine. What good is it to succeed in business if you have to pretend not to be yourself?
Hear me clearly now: if you like it, do it. But if you do it just because you believe that the things you already like to do aren’t as good for business as the things that somebody has told you are expected (see that quote in the article – grotesque!) for businesspeople, then I say, say NO.