April 3rd, 2012
04:38 PM ET

Time for a woman at Augusta?

By Erin Burnett

This week, the Masters golf tournament kicks off in Augusta, Georgia. The announcers voices seem almost muted, they're in such awe of the masters tradition. There's nothing like winning the Masters...and donning that fabled GREEN JACKET.

Members get jackets too, but there are only 300 of them, and they're there *BY INVITATION ONLY*. As a result, the club has been slow to admit members that don't **look** like their other members. The first black member wasn't invited until 1990. And women still can't join.

But this year, that could all change. Ginni Rometty is the new CEO of American icon, IBM. She got the top job at IBM the right way – by hard work, dedication and sacrifice. Her former boss said it best when he said: "Ginny got it because she deserved it. It's got zero to do with progressive social policies."

This puts Augusta National in an awkward position. IBM is one of the the 3 biggest sponsors of the Masters. The past four CEOs of IBM have all been given a GREEN JACKET, and membership. I bet they will step up and do the same for Ginny. I hope she doesn't graciously let them off the hook.

But, as a modern woman, I bet she'll put the jacket on for the photos, and then take it off, because it's bulky and frankly, fuddy duddy. And she's a modern woman who can say hey, i want to look nice AND be the boss of IBM. A study by GMI ratings found that female Chief Financial Officers are paid – on average – 16% less than men.

They're still among the wealthiest of Americans...earning 1.32M per year. But men, of the same age and accomplishment, make 1.54M. If the most educated, ambitious, and successful women in America can't close the paygap, we have a big problem.

Here's hoping Ginny Rometty gets her jacket, and we all start fighting for equality when its earned and deserved.

Filed under: Erin's Essay
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Ann V.

    No one should be shut out of anywhere! America, at its finest about justice, respect and honor!

    April 6, 2012 at 3:34 am | Reply
  2. Ann V.

    No one should be shut out of anywhere! America, at its finest is about justice, respect and honor!

    April 6, 2012 at 3:31 am | Reply
  3. michael

    you do understand that women are allowed to play at augusta right? what difference does it make if there are no female members?

    April 5, 2012 at 9:05 am | Reply
  4. Andrew Paslawski

    Billy Payne would not comment publicly today about Augustas men only policy. However he was quick to talk publicly and in fact chastice Tiger for his private indiscretions 2 years ago. Seems to me the behaviour is a tad hypocritical. I wonder if Tiger commented publicly about the Augustas Men only policy if he would ever be invited back.

    April 4, 2012 at 4:58 pm | Reply
  5. jon shanku

    You rock Erin!!!!

    April 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply

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