Aberdeen Standard Investments’ Diversity Summit & The 2019 Solheim Cup

By: April 4, 2019

Aberdeen Standard Investments could not find better timing for their 5th Diversity Summit than the week of The 2019 Solheim Cup(at Gleneagles in Scotland, from 9th to 15th September).

Aberdeen Standard Investments is the title sponsor of both the Men’s and Ladies Scottish Opens and this association with The 2019 Solheim Cup is another sign of their commitment to equality.

Judy Murray and Nicola Sturgeon - at the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Gender Summit

Diversity in golf & in sports

We might think that women’s participation in golf is in the worst circumstances/situation. Yes, we can say that the average women’s participation in golf in the EU is 25% (Source: KPMG) and 23% in the USA (Source: Syngenta).

Sport England (2015) Active People Survey 9 found that women participate in sport less than men do:

  • in England there are 2 million fewer women who regularly play sports, and
  • only 31% of women play 30 minutes of moderate sport once a week, compared to 41% of men.

It also does not help women’s participation in golf and in general in sports if their sports events don’t get as much coverage by the media as the men’s golf tournaments and events.

Let me give you interesting statistics about the media bias toward women’s sport (Source: Women in Sport):

  • The lowest share of women sport event coverage was in Malta and Greece, where it failed to achieve more than 2% of the total coverage in either period.
  • In Sweden and the UK, the picture was marginally better, but still variable and only achieved between 3%- 6% (Sweden) and 4%-10% (UK)

At the same time, Nielsen’s The Rise of Women’s Sports (2018) study found:

  • 64% of the population interested in at least one women’s sport.
  • 84% of general sports fans are interested in women’s sports.
  • 61% are interested in watch golf tournaments.
  • Golf has got a global fan base i size of 52 million people. (Football has got 105M fans)
  • Female golf receives the 6th highest level of interest.

The bottom line is that media can be a great driver of growing the game of golf among women, but need more initiatives like love.golf (UK) and Vision 50/50 (Sweden).

Female golf participation – Vision 50/50

Usually I like to draw the attention not only to those issues and areas that are problematic, but to progressive and innovative ones as well.

Last time it was the love.golf program, now I want to share with you the Swedish Golf Federation’s Vision 50/50 program. The program was launched in 2013.

The aim is to increase the number of female golfers by 10,000 before the year 2020. Today 26% is the share of women in golf in Sweden.

The Swedish Golf Federation’s (SGF; with approximately 500,000 members) Vision 50/50 policy wants to promote gender equality in golf.

An important part of the strategy is to increase the number of women in decision making roles in the Swedish Golf Federation to make golf more attractive to women.

As part of this program, the Nyköpings Golf Club is reviewing their values ​​and code of conduct to make more people feel welcome.

Everyone who is staying at our facility is equally worthwhile. The club should work for equality and equal treatment. We shall respond to all members, employees, and guests with respect and consideration.”

They and the Eksjö Golf Club (in 2016) are the first two Swedish golf clubs to become approved golf club in the Swedish Golf Federation’s equality education Vision 50/50. 

Have you heard of any similar progressive idea to attract more women to golf?