Charlotte reflects on what this year’s IWD theme #inspireinclusion means for her and how we can foster an inclusive environment within golf.

The theme for this year’s International Women's Day is about inspiring inclusion; a celebration of diversity and empowerment, and recognition of the crucial role that inclusion plays in achieving gender equality.

As passionate (bordering maniacal) ambassadors for women’s inclusion in golf and sport, it’s a theme that resonates profoundly with us at Women & Golf.

So, I couldn’t possibly let the day pass by without saying a word or two on the topic.

More than inviting women to play

In the golf industry, I actually think we do a pretty good job of attracting women and girls to the game. But our issue is keeping them in it.

And that’s because inclusion goes beyond simply inviting women to play.

It's about creating an atmosphere where everyone feels welcome, valued, and respected, regardless of their gender (or – whilst we’re on the topic ­– race, age or background).

It's about breaking down barriers and challenging stereotypes to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to enjoy and excel in the game of golf.

Inclusion starts at the top

One of the key aspects of inspiring inclusion in golf is promoting diversity in leadership and decision-making roles. Women bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table, and their voices should be heard in shaping the future of the sport.

That applies to governing bodies, big and small organisations within the golf industry and committees and boards at golf clubs.

The scales are definitely tipping though, and there’s been a clear shift recently with more and more women taking on roles that have historically only ever been filled by men.

I do believe that it should be a case of appointing whoever is best for the role, and because the industry has been so male-dominated for so long, it will take some to change. However, by actively recruiting and supporting women in leadership positions, we set an example for inclusivity that starts at the top and works its way down. In every setting, it creates a culture and environment that says everyone is welcome.

Resources and opportunities

Another crucial aspect of inclusion is ensuring equal access to resources and opportunities for women in golf. That means providing equal access to tee times, practice facilities, coaching, and competitions.

It also means offering programmes and initiatives specifically tailored to women's needs and interests.

But beyond the confines of the clubhouse or the course, it's about fostering a sense of community and belonging; supporting, encouraging and celebrating successes wherever they come.

What do you do to #inspireinclusion?

As we celebrate International Women's Day 2024, we want to understand your experiences and insights on inspiring inclusion in the game.

Whether it's setting up a WhatsApp group or implementing a mentor programme, we want to hear from you!

What initiatives does your golf club have in place to promote inclusion and diversity? How do you personally contribute to creating a more inclusive environment for women in golf?

Email [email protected] to share your stories, ideas, and suggestions with us, and together, let's continue to inspire inclusion and drive positive change.