Column: What does Caroline O’Connor’s promotion mean for women in sports?
Caroline O’Connor becomes the second woman to become president of an MLB franchise
The Miami Marlins recently promoted Caroline O’Connor to the organization’s president, making O’Connor the first woman to hold both the president and general manager positions.
O’Connor is breaking barriers for women in the sports industry as the second woman to serve as president of a Major League Baseball organization; the Seattle Mariners’ Catie Griggs was the first in 2021.
The Marlins have a track record of making historic hires. Miami hired the first female baseball manager, Kim Ng, in 2020. Ng started out as an intern and worked her way up to become one of the most powerful women in baseball.
Prior to working for the Marlins, O’Connor was a manager at Morgan Stanley and a director at UBS Investment Bank.
O’Connor helped enable an exponential revenue increase for the Marlins. The Marlins had a 12 percent attendance increase compared to the 2019 season attendance, according to the MLB .
After the Marlins announced O’Connor’s promotion, there was an outpouring of support for the historic deal. The Miami Marlins’ owner, Bruce Sherman, feels O’Connor will be a successful president.
“Her passion and drive for success is unmatched in our game and the South Florida market,” Sherman said according to Sports Illustrated.
Although O’Connor’s promotion was inspiring for many women pursuing a career in the sports industry, many of the derogatory comments under the announcements demonstrated many of the reasons young women may not want to pursue a career in sports.
Comments such as “Woke 🗑 move,” “Seems like Kim Ng is more focused on woman empowerment than running a baseball team” and “So hard to be a fan anymore…” were made online upon O’Connor being promoted.
While progress cannot be made without backlash, O’Connor’s presidency will be historic for other women looking to make a career in sports.
Representation is critical, especially in male-centered environments like the sports industry. With more women paving their way in the sports industry, more young people will follow suit, hopefully making the industry a more comfortable and inclusive environment.