When the Masters golf tournament is held each year at Augusta National, an exclusive, all-male club, the CEOs of the top corporate sponsor companies are typically invited to become club members. This honor that includes getting to wear the club’s rather unsightly green blazer — which is awarded ceremoniously to the tournament’s winner. When Virginia Rometty became CEO of IBM, one of the tournament’s top sponsors, earlier this year, people wondered whether Augusta would extend a membership and a green blazer to Rometty, despite her gender.
Though neither Augusta nor IBM will comment at all on the matter, Rometty was not wearing a green blazer at yesterday’s final day of the tournament, suggesting that she was not offered membership.
She was spotted in the audience “in a pink jacket” — something many reporters covering her attendance were quick to point out. (In two separate articles, The “Wall Street Journal” announced that “Her jacket was pink, not green,” and that she was “wearing a pink blazer, white pants and white shoes.”)
My gosh, a woman wearing pink! What does it mean? It’s possible Rometty’s decision to wear pink had nothing to do with Augusta’s “only men get to wear our green jackets” policies. Let’s review some possible explanations (of varying probability) for her choice.
1. It was Easter.
What does one wear on Easter? Pastels. Like pink!
2. Pink is golf’s hottest new trend.
Bubba Watson, who won the Masters yesterday, has been all about the bright pink. Throughout the tournament, he wore pink-accented clothing and used a lucky hot pink club.
3. Pink blazers are in style this season.
Pink blazers from the Spring/Summer 2012 collections from Sandro, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Jill Stuart.
5. She thought the green blazer was ugly.
While the pink jacket, coupled with IBM and Augusta’s silence on the matter, indicate that Rometty was not offered a membership at Augusta (and an honorary green jacket), she might have been offered a membership and chose not to wear it. After all, that jacket is pretty hideous.
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Also, I didn’t get the sense that anyone was drawing attention to the jacket because it was pink; they were drawing attention to it because it wasn’t green. Its not-greenness prompted a discussion of whether or not she was offered membership. You’re making a gendered issue out of something that isn’t really there. At one point your article makes it seem as if people were being critical of her for being a woman wearing that color.
Perhaps she just likes pink. Here’s another picture of Rometty in a pink jacket. I guess I would have liked more engagement with the club’s exclusionary policies than the color of the jacket members get to wear. Both times I’ve read Shift pieces on female CEOs fashion has come up. I don’t see why it’s relevant (or the Kardashian connections, for that matter). Women are more than just the clothes they wear.