Prior to the game, the Mariners will host a “Women in Baseball” panel, designed to “offer first-hand accounts from women who work in the baseball industry as they discuss the game today and their place in it.” This event gives them an opportunity they haven’t necessarily had before — to hear from women working in baseball on their experiences as professionals, the path they took to get to where they are, the challenges they’ve faced, and their perspective on baseball today.
Female fans spend so much time and energy and money rooting for their favorite teams and players — we wanted to take that commitment seriously and put on an event that would recognize and celebrate the contributions women have already made to the game, while acknowledging the work left to be done to promote diversity in baseball front offices and media.
Eventually, I hope we’ll see a woman play in the majors, but whether it’s in the front office, or the press box, or scouting on a back field, women are working in baseball right now.
I hope that hearing from women working in a variety of roles across the industry, from analytics to scouting to the front office and baseball media, will inspire some to think that a path they previously thought was closed is actually open to them.
What are the most important steps that baseball — whether organizations, media, or fans themselves — can take to promote women in baseball? The league has to make sure it is promoting and mentoring the women already working in the game, while making sure that entry level positions are accessible to women in a meaningful way so that you have a pipeline of talent to draw from down the line.
As for making female fans feel more welcome, I think the solution is simple, whether you’re a team designing ballpark promotions or a male fan: operate from the assumption that the women you see in the ballpark love baseball as much as the men do.