MassMutual Promotes Successful Women
When It Comes To Business And Golf Today, There's Probably No Better Program Than MassMutual Financial Group Including OppenheimerFunds And The Executive Women Golf Association
by Mark Di Giorgio
Director Public Relations
MassMutual Financial Group
Golf and commerce have been synonymous ever since the Scots invented the game in the mid-fifteenth century. And when it comes to business and golf for women today, there’s probably no better pairing than MassMutual Financial Group, including OppenheimerFunds, Inc. (OppenheimerFunds) and the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA).
As a national sponsor of the EWGA, MassMutual Financial Group and OppenheimerFunds are not only promoting women and golf, but also the benefits of women’s participation in sports. These benefits often lead to professional success and last a lifetime.
From the locker room to the boardroom
Since launching its landmark “Women & Investing” program in 1992, OppenheimerFunds has talked to thousands of women nationally over the past decade. In a recent Oppenheimer survey of more than 400 senior women business executives earning at least $75,000 annually at companies with more than 100 employees, results showed that:
- 81 percent played organized team sports growing up and continue to be physically active;
- 86 percent believed sports helped them to be more disciplined;
- 69 percent said sports assisted in the development of their leadership skills and contributed to professional success;
- 68 percent credited sports with helping them deal with failure; and
- 59 percent noted that sports gave them a competitive edge.
From this research, which was featured in numerous media including USA Today and The New York Times, it becomes clear that the road to the boardroom frequently begins in the locker room. “We found that female executives exercise and play sports significantly more often than the general population of women, and, doing so positively impacts their workplace performance and reputation,” said Frances Emerson, senior vice president at MassMutual Financial Group. “Just over half of those surveyed said women who participate in sports are more respected by their fellow employees. So, the businesswomen who stay physically active are sinking the big putts with their colleagues.
“And although participation in sports doesn’t necessarily equate to business success, athletics certainly teach women leadership skills, discipline and the ability to function as part of a team – traits that are key to a satisfying career,” Emerson added.
What does a female athlete look like?
Attributes and skills honed through sports are the focus of a traveling exhibit, entitled “Game Face: What Does a Female Athlete Look Like?” sponsored by MassMutual Financial Group and OppenheimerFunds. More than 750,000 people -- at venues including the Smithsonian Institution -- have viewed the exhibit across the country. This collection of 139 riveting photographs depicts women and girls accomplishing great feats in various sports: From a corseted woman cyclist in the 1890s, to the female springboard diving champion at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, to an adorable little girl riding a sheep in a rodeo, to a double below-knee amputee setting a paralympic record in Atlanta in 1996.
In addition, a national education program based on the exhibition helps young girls and boys build confidence, self-esteem and a sense of inclusion. The program, used by teachers in more than 1,300 schools nationwide, includes flash-cards of exhibit photos that exemplify lessons in body image, tolerance, competition, creativity and risk taking. Game Face images help teach youngsters about the benefits of focus, determination, perseverance and teamwork.
“The Game Face materials offer an appealing and effective way to inspire discussions of various life experiences,” says Sue Tougas, assistant vice president at MassMutual Financial Group. “Each of the photo cards contains one or more ‘think-about’ questions that can be used for group discussions or writing activities in language arts, social studies, health and physical education, among others.”
The MassMutual Financial Group and OppenheimerFunds sponsorship of the EWGA, coupled with its women’s research and sponsorship of the Game Face exhibit, tell the story of lessons learned by women throughout their lives – not in a business school lecture hall but, rather, on the golf course, on the slopes or in an Olympic swimming pool.
Today’s business leaders – like you – have much to be proud of and much to share with aspiring young women of today.
“Share your knowledge. Share your experiences. Share your wisdom. As you can attest, a young girl’s life can be dramatically changed by sports. And changed for the better,” said Tougas. “Young women often need and want to learn the building blocks of success – and who better to learn from than successful women themselves?”
Who knows, that young girl you mentor today – whether she’s a daughter, a niece or a next-door neighbor – may grow up to be the epitome of success.
MassMutual Financial Group is a marketing designation (fleet name) for Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company and its subsidiaries, including OppenheimerFunds, Inc. For more information about Game Face, visit www.massmutual.com