Trio loving leadership role at club

Women are leading the way in a traditionally male-dominated industry at The Shellharbour Club following the appointment of an all-female leadership team.

The three most-senior executive positions of chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO) and chief operating officer (COO) at the club are now held by women.

And it is is seen as a reflection of a significant change within the industry.

Their recent appointments coincide with a recent KPMG study undertaken by ClubsNSW that showed the industry was leading from the front.

It revealed women now made up 54 per cent of club employees, compared with the NSW average of 45 per cent.

The study also showed women making their mark in club boardrooms. They accounted for almost 20 per cent of club CEOs and 14 per cent of board members, compared with 3 per cent and 8 per cent of ASX 200-listed companies.

The Shellharbour Club's chief executive Debbie Cosmos said the great thing was they were all appointed on their merit and she was proud to have women account for 58 per cent of the club's 120-strong workforce.

"After 18 years of experience in clubs, it's pleasing to see the changes happening within our industry and our club is a prime example of just how important the female workforce is in this industry," Mrs Cosmos said.

"While it will always be based on the right person and the right fit for the position, regardless of gender, we've been lucky to have women aspiring to senior positions within our business."

Mrs Cosmos, who was appointed CEO in February, said it was still unusual to have three women in three senior roles in one club and she was not aware of another Illawarra example.

But it took time.

"I have been here 18.5 years and came up through the ranks," Mrs Cosmos said.

"Margo [Emmerik] has been here for five years and was employed as a finance manager and was recently progressed to a CFO. Amy [Traviss] has been here for two years. She was employed as an HR manager and has progressed to a COO. So the progression has been based on merit. It is nice to see more senior women in the industry."

In each case, they just wanted the same chance as a man to get the role and it was great to have achieved it on their merits.

"It is exactly how it has happened and we are proud that it happened that way," she said.

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