Pay Inequity in Athletics

College and professional sports continue to provide unequal funding for women. Paying men more for the same sport gives women in the sport less incentive to push themselves and discourages future female participation in the sport.

Gender Inequity in Collegiate Sports

  • Even though female students comprise 57% of college student populations, female athletes received only 43% of participation opportunities which is 56,110 fewer participation opportunities than their male counterparts.
  • Although the gap has narrowed, male athletes still receive 55% of college athletic scholarship dollars, leaving only 45% to be allocated to women.
  • Women's teams receive only 38% of college sport operating dollars and 33% of college athletic team recruitment spending.
  • In NCAA Division I-A, head coaches for women's teams receive an average salary of $850,400 while head coaches for men's teams average $1,783,100. This is a difference of $932,700.

Gender Equity in Professional Sports

  • When Jelena Prokopcuka won the New York City Marathon in both 2005 and 2006 she became the sixth woman in the history of the race to achieve this feat. Both years the women's winner took home $100,000 plus a bonus of $30,000, equaling the largest purse in marathon history.
  • In 2007 Wimbledon announced for the first time, it will provide equal prize purses to male and female athletes. All four Grand Slam events now offer equal prize money to the champions.

Gender Inequity in Professional Sports

  • Total prize money for the PGA tour, $256 million, is more than five times that of the LPGA tour, $50 million. Similar discrepancies exist throughout professional sports.
  • For a WNBA player in the 2005 season, the minimum salary was $31,200, the maximum salary was $89,000, and the team salary cap was $673,000. For NBA players in the 2004-2005 season, the minimum salary was $385,277, the maximum salary was $15.355 million, and the team salary cap was $46 million.
  • For finishing in third place in the 2003 Women's World Cup, each U.S. women's national soccer team member was awarded $25,000. They would have received $58,000 if they had won the Cup. For reaching the quarterfinal of the World Cup in 2002, the U.S. men's national soccer team members received $200,000 each. 
     

    What you can do

  • Attend women's sporting events
  • Support companies that advocate for women's athletics
  • Encourage television stations and newspapers to cover women's sports
  • Sign up to coach a girls' sports team, whether at the recreational or high school level
  • Encourage young women to participate in sports
  • Become an advocate: if you are or know a female athlete that is being discriminated against – advocate for her rights.

Published
By Women's Sports Foundation

EXPLORE FURTHER

Read the Press Release

APRIL 19, 2010: The Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) named Professor Nancy Hogshead-Makar its Senior Director of Advocacy. The WSF was founded by Billie Jean King in 1974 as a driving force to attract girls and women to sport while promoting better health and education.

WSF Response to “Top Ten Politicians’ Promises Gone Wrong with John Stossel”

“Top Ten Politicians’ Promises Gone Wrong” included a four minute segment on Title IX. he claimed that men’s sports programs are being cut as an “unintended consequence” of compliance with the law.

Homophobia and Sport Policy Recommendations

Athletic Department non-discrimination policies should prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the department and on teams.

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