The Wage Gap in Pro Sports
Will equal pay for women arrive in the sports world?
What's the hold-up here?
America's struggle to close its gender wage gap has been mirrored by the efforts of amateur and professional sports organizations. Today, women's team sports at the college level and their coaches (who happen to earn 63 cents for every dollar earned by head coaches of men's teams) are settling for substantially smaller budgets than men's team sports.
And women's professional sports, which don't even have a Title IX equivalent to fall back on for support, are lagging well behind men's sports in prize money, sponsorship commitments, and endorsements.
But the effects of the record number of girls and women now playing sports will be felt soon. The success of women's team sports such as ice hockey at the 1998 Olympic Games and soccer at the 1999 Women's World Cup has redirected athletic shoe marketing campaigns and sparked more corporate interest in the future of women's sports.
As a result, high-profile individual female sports like tennis, golf, figure skating, gymnastics, and track and field could see the wage gap shrink, while long-term financial success for new team sports' leagues like the Women's National Basketball Association could make equality a reality.