Pay Inequality in Women’s Sports
By Maya Razmi
It is well known that HB advocates for women’s rights. From Women in World History to prominent women in math, we are always hearing about women’s rights. Despite the fact that the inequality in women’s rights has improved in the modern day United States, gender inequality is still prevalent, particularly in college sports.
Although women’s college sports have improved immensely over the years, there is an inequality in coaches’ compensation. For example, according to statistics from the Department of Education, the average paycheck for coaches in the N.C.A.A. Division 1 in any men’s sport increased 67% to about $267,000 from 2003 to 2010. In comparison, the average paycheck for the coaches of women increased by only 16% to approximately $98,000. Just the stark contrast between these prices shows the difference in salaries for men and women in college sports.
However, the question is why these differences in salaries occur. According to the Equal Pay Act of 1963, employers are not allowed to discriminate solely based on gender. Equal pay should be earned based on comparable work. However, that is not always the case in the world of college sports. Since equal pay is only required for comparable work, the coaches of men’s teams are often structured so that they do additional duties. For example, a coach of a men’s team may be required to make 20 appearances at alumni events whereas the coach of a women’s team may only be required to make 15. Lattinvale states, “It can be up to one-half or more of the coach’s total compensation…and if the supplemental income derives from third- party sources, including university athletic associations, which are private entities akin to booster clubs, it is not subject to the same legal, business and political scrutiny in its amount and structure as university-based funds.” Furthermore, it is important to note that the pay that a coach receives is proportional to revenue that the sport generates for the university. The majority of the women’s programs at large universities are not that successful financially compared to men’s teams. Despite the fact that there is inequality in wages for coaches of women’s sports and those of men’s sports, it is important to support women’s sports in order to lessen this inequality.