Women need to be in sports, period. Their unique perspective in both on the field and in the professional market will only benefit themselves and those around them, not to mention the physical benefits.
Putting girls in sports at a young age will equip them with skills more advanced than those that don’t participate and will prepare them for leadership-heavy roles in life.
However, “women in sports” isn’t a popular term worldwide.
- Of the roughly 2600 coaches in all of major league sports (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, and MLS), ONLY 6 ARE FEMALE!
- Less than 10% of sports media covers women’s sports and less than 2% of sports media covers sports that are deemed masculine.
- “The highest-paid player in the WNBA makes roughly one-fifth that of the lowest paid player,” in the super-rich NBA.
The results of this survey may be staggering as the male champions were rewarded almost forty times more than the women for playing the exact same game.
Not only do women face discrimination in sports in terms of money and exposure, they also face it in terms of emotion.
Women constantly have to break barriers in regards to athletics as it has only been a short period of time since they have been accepted into the sports world. Women are often stigmatized as “masculine” or “lesbian” if they choose to participate in sports, which can lower one’s self esteem.
Strides toward equality have been made on both the local and international levels, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Forty-five years ago, only 294,000 girls in the U.S. participated in high school sports and fewer than 30,000 played on the collegiate level. Today, 3.1 million girls participate in high school sports, compared to 4.4 million boys.
According to data from the NCAA in 2014, the gender ratio for its 472, 625 student-athlete was even closer, about 44 percent female to 56 percent male.
Women still receive $179 million less than males in athletic scholarships. Additionally, colleges and universities only allot 24% go their athletic operating budgets on female sports, as well as just 16 percent of recruiting budgets and 33% of scholarship budgets.
On a personal level, I have felt the gender imbalance in the smallest form. For example, playing on the three-time defending state championship soccer team, we only received new jerseys after our third state title. In contrast, other teams on campus (specifically boys teams) get new uniforms almost every season.
Change is Imminent.
Women are a vital piece of the sports industry, and without them, both collegiate and professional programs will miss major pieces to their success. At the end of the day, these programs will lack a huge chunk of money and lose a critical piece of their audience if change is not pursued.
- With this presentation, I hope that people will realize that this is an important issue and shouldn’t be ignored even on the smallest of levels. Even if one boy sticks up for another girl playing sports on the playground, my message has been heard.
- I believe this issue begins in the home life. If parents are informed about the benefits of their future daughters participating in/working in sports, more will place their daughters on teams at a young age and foster a culture in which girls can be comfortable playing and watching sports.
- On the high school level, girls should have immense resources to explore both a playing and working career in athletics. School newspapers should recruit female writers, career fairs should include sports related fields with both a male and female representative, and girls sports should equal funding and coverage as male sports.
On the collegiate and professional levels, there is progress made every day towards equality, an example of that being shown in the video above. Female athletes and celebrities are synonymous these days in our culture, and their voices on their stand for equality are stronger than ever, which helps this movement be possible. Any sharing or more exposure that this issue gets from ordinary people like us can help the movement towards women being comfortable alongside men in athletics.
I hope this presentation has inspired some people to go out and make a change as it has for me during the process of putting this all together.
Adriaanse, Johanna. “Women Are Missing in Sport Leadership, and It’s Time That Changed.” The Conversation, 19 Sept. 2018, theconversation.com/women-are-missing-in-sport-leadership-and-its-time-that-changed-69979.
Chaffee, Ian. “Forget about Sexism: Now TV Coverage of Women’s Sports Is Just Plain Boring.” USC News, 12 Sept. 2017, www.news.usc.edu/127695/forget-about-sexism-now-tv-coverage-of-womens-sports-is-just-plain-boring/.
Lilit. “Gender Discrimination in Sports: Statistics & Examples.” Women’s Forum, Women’s , 26 Feb. 2018, women-s.net/gender-discrimination-in-sports/.
Neubert , Amy Patterson. “Professor: Young Girls Lose from Lack of Female Athletes on TV News Reports.” Purdue: University News Service , Purdue University , 3 June 2010, www.purdue.edu/newsroom/research/2010/100603T-CookySports.html.
Perasso, Valeria. “100 Women: Is the Gender Pay Gap in Sport Really Closing?” BBC News, BBC, 23 Oct. 2017, www.bbc.com/news/world-41685042.
Scheadler, Travis, and Audrey Wagstaff. “Exposure to Women’s Sports: Changing Attitudes Toward Female Athletes.” The Sport Journal, 25 May 2018, www.thesportjournal.org/article/exposure-to-womens-sports-changing-attitudes-toward-female-athletes/.
“Stats Pack for Media .” Women in Sport, June 2017, www.womeninsport.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/Media-Stats-Pack-June-2017-5.pdf?x9983
Struby, Tim. “The Glass Sideline: Why Aren’t More Women Coaching Men?” SBNation.com, SBNation.com, 27 Nov. 2018, www.sbnation.com/2018/11/27/18096989/women-coaching-men-professional-sports-nfl-glass-sideline.