As Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Ruth Engle is Troon’s highest-ranking female. The atmosphere she encountered after arriving at the company in 2007 was markedly different than what exists today.
“One thing I noticed initially about the industry was a ‘good ole boy’ culture,” she recalled. “Back then, decisions weren’t necessarily made on merit or performance, but rather on relationships. What’s changed that to some degree is just an awakening in the industry that different perspectives can drive performance.”
Engle makes a point of regularly asking Troon leadership why there aren’t more female general managers at companyaffiliated facilities. “I consistently hear that our female GMs are some of the best GMs in the company,” she said. “That’s because they had to fight the good fight to get to the top of the chain. I think you will see that group growing because many women have put themselves in what I call the next level down where they are ready to get promoted into leaderships roles at a more rapid pace than ever before.” Battling misperceptions does remain a challenge, according to Engle.
“When I came to Troon, a lot of people said, ‘Well, she doesn’t understand golf.’ But I’m good at finance and that’s my job. You have to have a position in the company where people want to hear what you have to say. That means doing your homework, seeking out opportunities to make a difference, and delivering above and beyond your individual role so that you’re not waiting for others to ask you to participate at a different level. Put yourself out there and ask for things not traditionally in your scope or your sphere of influence. Just don’t take no for an answer.”