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Kim Ng: Women In Major League Sports

Casey Mazzotti

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Kim Ng was recently hired by the Miami Marlins baseball team to be their general manager; she will be Major League Baseball's first female and first Asian American GM, as well as the first female GM in any major sport.

Born in Indianapolis and raised in New York and New Jersey, Ng started out her career as an intern for the Chicago White Sox after graduating from the University of Chicago, where she played softball for four years and was named MVP infielder. She was hired full-time post-internship and later worked for the American League before being recruited by Brian Cashman, the New York Yankees GM, to work as assistant general manager. At 29, she was the youngest person in her field, and one of only a few women to ever hold that position.



After attaining and maintaining success with the Yankees, and with three World Series wins during her time there, Ng headed west to become the vice president as well as the assistant general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 2011, she left her role with the Dodgers to take the position of senior vice president of baseball operations for the MLB, making her the highest-ranking Asian American female baseball executive.

Ng was interviewed for the role of general manager with four different teams, and despite spending 13 years in her role as assistant general manager, with both teams making the postseason during her tenure, she was only selected for the role of GM with the Marlins this past Friday.

"This challenge is one I don't take lightly," Ms. Ng said in a statement. "When I got into this business, it seemed unlikely a woman would lead a major league team, but I am dogged in the pursuit of my goals."

Her recent ceiling-shattering hiring comes at a time when the MLB, and men's sports in general, are under increasing pressure to hire additional well-qualified female candidates to fulfill executive roles. According to the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport, the MLB received a grade of "C" for gender hiring. The MLB has improved their gender hiring for central office roles; women now comprise about 40% of those positions. However, their gender hiring for executive roles received a grade of "C-", with women making up about 28% of those positions. The MLB is certainly making strides when it comes to gender inclusivity, but there is still a ways to go according to the Institute's report, which does not include information regarding the hiring of all genders, such as transgender or intersex individuals.

Jean Afterman, who was Kim Ng's successor as assistant general manager and is now an executive for the Yankees, said in a statement, "To be a G.M. in Major League Baseball, you need intelligence, vision and experience. These qualities of leadership, which Kim possesses in abundance, are gender-blind."

Certainly, this hiring is well-deserved by Ng and will serve as inspiration for many women and girls who are hopeful to become an integral part of major league sports, and while Ng is the first female GM in the major leagues, she will not be the last.

Come to WITI's December Summit to celebrate women like Kim Ng and you!

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