Date: November 16, 2012

Clubs discover what women want

Clubs are undertaking multi-million dollar renovations in response to research showing that women make the majority of household decisions when it comes to social activities, with clubs introducing facilities such as day-spas, hair salons and chic furnishings to specifically appeal to women. Women are also making their mark in club boardrooms with females making up almost 20% of club CEOs and 14% of board members compared to just 3% and 8% of ASX 200 listed companies. ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball says that many clubs are recognising that while traditionally the local club may have been the domain of men, the key to success lies with women. Clubs are being more scientific when it comes to catering to the fairer sex and are undertaking focus groups with women specifically in mind. The research shows that when clubs provide an environment that women feel comfortable in, you end up with not only more women but also more men! Attractive working conditions such as flexible rosters and generous paid-maternity leave schemes are resulting in more women returning to work at clubs after starting families and retaining senior positions such as CEO and chief financial operators, he said. Clubs such as the Sutherland District Trade Union Club, better known as Tradies, are experiencing a surge in new female members since undergoing a refurbishment. Tradies CEO Tim McAleer says that his board decided that in order to appeal to women the club should go for a different look. The majority of our members over 50 are females, so when it came to designing our new building, we deliberately hired an interior designer who had never worked with a club. Everyone agrees the results are amazing. Tradies is definitely not your stereotypical club the gaming is tucked away out of sight and every detail has been carefully considered from the lighting to moisturizers in the bathroom. A key feature is the Endota Day Spa, the largest in NSW and we also host regular fashion fairs and high-tea. Seventy percent of our new members are female and we also have twice as many women working at the club as men. We were recently the first club to be cited as an Employer of Choice for Women, a huge accolade given only 125 companies have ever received this acknowledgement nationally, he said. RSL, Worker s and Golf Clubs are leading the charge including Leonay Golf Club, a part of the Emu Plains Sports Club, which recently appointed its first ever female professional at the club. Emu Plains Sports Club CEO Michael Ekert says that with declining rates of participation amongst women in golf, the club is bucking the trend. Like many golf clubs, we ve been working hard to grow our female membership base and since Jordana came on board in July, we ve seen a huge increase in both female members and juniors too, he said.