Alumna Could Be First Non-binary Executive in Pro Sports

Oakland, CA—March 09, 2017

Jen Ramos

Photo credit: Alan Mittlestaedt, University of Southern California, Annenberg

Mills College graduate Jen Ramos has been appointed assistant general manager for California’s Sonoma Stompers Professional Baseball Club, which won last season’s championships in the Pacific Association of Professional Baseball Clubs.

Ramos is possibly the first openly gender non-binary individual to serve as a pro sports executive. Preferring the pronouns they and their, Ramos explained that they don’t strictly identify as a woman or a man, but instead will “feel like one gender one day and another another day, or some kind of in-between space some days.” They credit Mills for offering an environment where they were free to explore their gender and sexuality.

Asked what they’re looking forward to in their new job with the Stompers, Ramos stated, “I’m excited about trying to get more women involved in professional baseball in the office and on the field. That representation has been missing for a long time.” The Stompers is the first professional, co-ed baseball team since the 1950s to line up multiple women on its roster, with the addition of two female players last year.

Founded in 2014, the team is backed by a sponsorship from Francis Ford Coppola, who encourages the recruitment, development, and advancement of women players. The Stompers took the league championship in only its third season and was the subject of the New York Times bestseller The Only Rule Is It Has to Work.

As assistant general manager, Ramos will oversee ticketing and fan experience, and support the club’s promotions and media relations. With a background in sports journalism, they previously covered minor league baseball for trade publications and worked as a digital content editor for the San Jose Sharks hockey team. After graduating from Mills in 2015, where they spent most of their spare time editing The Campanil student newspaper, Ramos earned a master’s in journalism at the University of Southern California.

In addition to finding peers at Mills who encouraged open conversation about gender, Ramos credits their Mills experience for much of the confidence they gained to pursue sports journalism. “I had such an amazing advisor who would talk sense into me when I needed it,” recalls Ramos. “Just having that support was one of the biggest things for me.”