Augusta maintains glass ceiling


THREE MONTHS after rising to one of the top jobs in corporate America, Virginia Rometty has met a glass ceiling she has been unable to break: membership of Augusta National, the male-only club where the Masters was held at the weekend.

The failure to offer membership to the new chief executive of IBM, the event’s chief sponsor, is fast turning into a snub that critics say will rebound on both the club and the computer company, should it fail to take a stand.

The omission comes despite growing public attention, which included mild rebukes of the gender bar from president Barack Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney.

Augusta National traditionally offers honorary membership to the heads of the Masters’ corporate sponsors, putting Ms Rometty in line to become the first female member in the club’s 79-year history. However, as the tournament concluded last night she had not been made a member.

Ms Rometty, who plays golf, has not spoken on the issue, and the computer firm declined to comment. The Professional Golfers Association has also not taken a stand.

– Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2012