The Pay Gap in Sports

By Alanna McDonough-Rice

In sports it is known that men’s sports make far more money than women’s sports. Since the beginning of time, players have fought to get better wages and better deals, but people have been putting women’s sports on the back burner for years. They think it won’t make money or have a fan base, but these sports have the same size fan base as men’s sports.

People consider women’s sports less lucrative, even though the WNBA is doing better than the NBA did at the same point in time. 20 years into the WNBA, there are 7,500 people in attendance at games, which is better than 20 years into the NBA. Women’s sports are a “viable business” yet it is not viewed as one. In tennis Roger Federer makes 700 thousand while Serena Williams makes 450 thousand. There is no valid reason why Williams makes about 68 cents on the dollar for playing the same game and having the same level of popularity.

Women need to stand up for equal and better pay. Billie Jean King commented on the pay gap and Ban deodorant offered equal pay. It took a long time for others to follow, but when women stand up to the advertisers and employers- they will get better pay. Players like Jazmine Reeves have “breakout years” in soccer or their respective sport, yet they can’t live off of their salary. Reeves could have had the opportunity to go to a national team camp, but instead she quit and took a job at Amazon. Women have better pay in tech, even though STEM fields have been male dominated since the beginning, than in women’s sports.

While FIFA is a “profoundly sexist” organization with their pay rate being 30-1 men to women, women are starting to speak up. The women’s national soccer team is suing U.S. Soccer for equal, if not more, pay since they are generating more money than the men’s team. Women’s sports are proven to be lucrative and powerful. There is truly no reason to pay them less, except sexist, misogynistic excuses.

Hopefully the women’s soccer team sets a precedent like Billie Jean King and women’s sports will start receiving equal pay for all their hard work. The fans of each and every female sport would be saddened to know that the wages their favorite player is receiving is barely enough to cover their lifestyle. With strong women, a strong fan base, and continued support and drive, women will receive the wages they deserve. One day the gap will close, but only with empowered women who will not settle for less.

Female Quality and Quantity Stagnant at Universities

By Nelly Nguyen

There have been numerous studies done on gender equality across industries and countries; however, there aren’t many that focus on education, especially among universities.

There is one that stands out in this category – “The Glass Door Remains Closed: Another Look at Gender Inequality in Undergraduate Business Schools” by Laura Marini Davis and Victoria Geyfman. The authors examined female representation in undergraduate business schools by analyzing accredited U.S. business programs in the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) from 2003 to 2011.

According to AACSB data, the number of male students enrolled increased approximately 15% from 2010 to 2013 while the number of female students fell slightly by 0.55%. The data also shows that female representation at accredited member institutions in AACSB in the United States declined 3.6% from 2003 to 2011. The authors also took a look at the degree attainment and noticed that even though the number of bachelor business degrees increased by 9% during 2003 to 2011, the number of degrees awarded to female students remained virtually the same, increasing only 0.21%. Thus, the  authors concluded that female representation in undergraduate business schools measured by either enrollment or degrees awarded has declined in the last decade –remarkable findings in light of a nationally reported reversal in the gender gap.

Some other interesting findings are:

  • Economic incentives heavily influence female students’ decision to enroll in a particular university or major
  • In the classroom setting, the study shows that women were more vulnerable to interruptions and were generally uncomfortable competing against men. Therefore, they tend to under participate.  On the other hand, the presence of female instructors had a positive effect on female students’ participation in classroom discussions. As a result, female-friendly institutional factors play a role in female representation at undergraduate business schools.

1 Davis, Laura Marini, and Victoria Geyfman. “The Glass Door Remains Closed: Another Look at Gender Inequality in Undergraduate Business Schools.” Journal of Education for Business 90, no. 2 (2014): 81-88. doi:10.1080/08832323.2014.980715.

Looking Through the Glass: A Modern Perspective on the Glass Ceiling

By Ashley Daniel

We are fortunate enough to live in a time where “You can be anything you want to be!” is a prominent statement in nearly every child’s life. However, an overwhelming number of statistics accompanied by a series of public events this year have us all questioning that statement more than ever. Can I be anything I want to be? Are there limits to my success? After consulting a number of articles, I have decided to dive deeper into this idea of The Glass Ceiling.

The U.S. Department of Labor defines the glass ceiling as “those artificial barriers based on attitudinal or organizational bias that prevent qualified individuals from advancing upward in their organization into management-level positions.”1 The glass ceiling has kept women and minorities from attaining well-deserved promotions and pay raises for years…but does it still exist in our forward-thinking, 2016 society?

While I personally find the arguments against the glass ceiling incredibly weak, I must acknowledge them. There are no laws in this country that prevent women from getting the same educational opportunities as men, so in that sense, yes there is equality. But to argue this point,  there are studies proving that even with that equivalent education, men are more likely to get the same job over women. And to the point that “women’s job choices keep them off of the executive track”2 …I don’t buy it. No male, female, minority, etc. is spending upwards of a quarter of a million dollars at a top university to hold a middle level management position his or her entire life.

For those of you doubting the authenticity of the glass ceiling, the numbers simply don’t lie. While Ivy League schools across the nation have nearly a 1:1 gender ratio, that equality is not reflected in the corporate world. At the start of the new year, there were only 21 female CEOs representing Fortune 500 companies— an astonishing 4%. If that number isn’t shocking enough, the current growth rate projects that we will add just one more powerful woman to that list every two years.3

Understanding the glass ceiling is important not only for feminists and equal rights activists, but also because statistically gender diversity actually works. Women are half of the consumer population, so why should women not be half of the decision makers? A 2015 study by McKinsey Global Institute found that “advancing women’s equality [in the workplace] could add $12 trillion to global economic growth in a decade.”4 But women can’t be CEOs because they don’t have the masculinity required to be a respected leader? Because only a man has the presence to demand attention during an important pitch? A demanding man is seen as authoritative, but a demanding woman is often referred to as “bossy”. The stereotypes are endless but the truth is- there is no doubting that a boardroom can benefit from the diverse experiences and attitudes of a balanced gender ratio.

The necessary proposal of that question says it all. In the words of Hillary Clinton, “Now I know we have still not shattered the highest and toughest glass ceiling, but someday someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.”5

1 Lewis, Jone Johnson. “Glass Ceiling: An Invisible Barrier to Success.” Education. August 31, 2016. Accessed November 13, 2016.

2 Lewis, Jone Johnson. “Glass Ceiling: An Invisible Barrier to Success.” Education. August 31, 2016. Accessed November 13, 2016.

3 Bellstrom, Kristen. “Why 2015 Was A Terrible Year to Be a Female Fortune 500 CEO.” Fortune. December 23, 2015. Accessed November 13, 2016.

4 Sethi, Rekha. “Why Gender Diversity Is a Business Imperative.” Business News. October 9, 2016. Accessed November 15, 2016.

5 “Hillary Clinton’s Concession Speech.” CNN. November 9, 2016. Accessed November 15, 2016.