How do you reach the next generation of professionals and let them know about career opportunities they may have never considered?
That’s a question The PGA of America is working to answer, as it tried to ensure that its workforce mirrors America in terms of diversity. That’s why it has partnered with Black Cosmopolitan for the video podcast series On The Tee, to “grow the game and drive greater inclusion across golf” by showcasing “the successes of people from diverse backgrounds working and playing in the industry.”
In the second episode, PGA’s Chief People Officer Sandy Cross introduces PGA professionals Scooter Clark and Rachel Melendez Mabee to talk about PGA WORKS.
“PGA WORKS is a strategic workforce diversification under PGA REACH, which is the foundation of the PGA of America,” says Melendez Mabee, the PGA WORKS program specialist. “It’s really an intentional effort for us to diversify our workforce and inspire and engage people from all backgrounds to learn about careers and opportunities within the golf industry. We want to make sure that we have adequate representation from all backgrounds, from all dimensions of diversity, in our sport and in our workforce.”
That diversification is a priority, given that the golf industry’s workforce, including PGA membership, is demographically homogenous. The boards, senior leadership, and full-time staff are 95%, 97%, and 86% white, respectively.
“The career expo is a career development opportunity for our student-athletes,” says Clark, manager of the PGA WORKS Collegiate Championship. “We typically have 18-22 exhibitors that come to the golf course and speak to the student-athletes about careers in the industry of golf.”
In addition to Collegiate Championship, there are a number of other programs under PGA WORKS, such as fellowships and scholarships to let diverse audiences know “there are people that look like them in the industry,” Melendez Mabee says.