Equal pay for equal work—it’s something that women around the world have been fighting for throughout history. Recently, professional athletes have been using their star power to shine a light on the topic. In tennis, Serena Williams has been a strong advocate for pay equality, and in soccer, US women’s team captain Megan Rapinoe and her teammates used the FIFA Women’s World Cup as a world stage for pointing out the discrepancy between female and male athletes’ pay. Why the discrepancy? Some argue that male professional athletes have more fans and therefore draw larger crowds. But is this actually true? The 2019 Women’s World Cup, for example, drew 263.62 million people from around the world—the most viewers in tournament history. Plus, the US women’s soccer team has won four World Cups while their male counterparts have won none. So it would seem there’s no logical reason for the pay inequity, but it looks like baby steps are being taken to even out the playing field.
Earlier this month, Australia’s national women’s soccer team, the Westfield Matildas, and Football Federation Australia agreed to a contract that would increase earnings of the top female soccer players to be more in line with the salaries of their male counterparts, and the team would receive the same percentage of commercial revenues and prize money as well. It’s not a hundred percent equal pay for equal play, but it’s a start.
Have you noticed any other gender inequities? If so, where?