The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Gender Wage Gap In Sports
In the last two decades, society has taken seriously the idea of gender pay equality. In some countries like the United Kingdom, the gender pay gap for women aged 20 to 29 has fallen to 5%, recent studies from Resolution Foundation show that gender pay gap has closed for every subsequent generation of women. Therefore, we decided to analyse the pay gap in some of the most popular sports.
We found out that Tennis is one of the sports that has encouraged equality among athletes; all grand slam tennis tournaments have paid male and female champions equally since Wimbledon begun doing so in 2007. Globally, 25 out of 35 major sports pay equal prize money to men and women.
Nevertheless, there is still a profound gap in some sports specially in Australia, where cricket and AFL women athletes don’t even receive prize money. Women that play cricket received a salary increase in 2016 that almost doubled their earnings, but even then, women make 93% less salary than men. AFL has a similar scenario where women make only 5% of men’s salaries.
This infographic takes a closer look to the gender pay equality in sports and will show you how the gap is closing thanks to the efforts of some leagues. However, there is still a long way to go before men and women earn the same salaries.
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CLOSING THE GENDER WAGE GAP IN SPORTS
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, men earn 17% more than women on average. Is there a pay discrepancy in sports as well?
THE WAGE GAP
Tennis is the leader in gender equality amongst major sports. The prize money gender gap has closed in Grand Slam and other major tournaments.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN PRIZE MONEY
$8,156 1976 $6,000
Forty years ago, the women’s prize pool was 73% of the men’s
$3.85 million 2016 $3.85 million
Today, both prize pools are the same
Roger Federer $89.5 million
$10.3 million salary/winnings
$79.2 million endorsements
Serena Williams $38.1 million
$11.7 million salary/winnings
$26.4 million endorsements
Since 2007, the Australian, US & French Open, Wimbledon and combined Masters events, pay equal prize money to both men and women.
Major golf tournaments don’t provide equal prize money, but in 2016, the prize money for the ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open exceeded the men’s.
PRIZE MONEY 2016
Men’s Emirates Open
ISPS HANDA Women’s Australian Open
$34,450 1976 $7,427
Forty years ago, the women’s prize pool was 21% of the men’s
$2.4 million 2016 $1 million
Today, the women’s prize pool is 41% of the men’s
Jordan Spieth $69.9 million
On course: $30.3 million
Off course: $39.6 million
Stacy Lewish $7.7 million
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On course: $2.5 million
Off course: $5.2 million
The salary gap is closing in professional golf and a more gender-equal approach is taking place.
Championship organisers, the R&A, removed Muirfield golf course from the Open Championship roster when the venue voted against female membership.
The salary for women in cricket almost doubled in 2016, but the WT20 women’s winning prize money is still only a faction of the men’s, with women receiving 93.8% less.
WT20 PRIZE MONEY 2016
$2.1 million $0.131 million
AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL TEAM SALARIES 2016
Retainer: $0.9 million Endorsements: Up to $5.1 million
Retainer: $0.08 million Endorsements: $0.02 million
Salary: $7.5 million
Endorsements: $30.3 million
Ellyse Perry $0.1 million * (expected from recent pay increase)
Salary: $0.08 million
Endorsement: $0.02 million
From 2016, Australian women’s cricket salaries saw an increase of $100,000 thanks to a significant cash injection in April.
Eight teams have been announced to compete in the inaugural women’s AFL season in 2017, but their expected salaries will be just 5% of what the men earn.
Men’s Grand Final $1 million
Women’s Euro Cup $0
AVERAGE SALARIES 2016
Gary Ablett $2 million
Daisy Pearce $0.0025 million
There has been a huge increase of female participation in AFL, with 163% more female players in 2015 than 2014.
The World Surfing League (WSL) state that the total prize purse is equal for men and women, but it’s determined by the number of surfers competing.
SAMSUNG GALAXY CHAMPIONSHIP PRIZE MONEY
$448,7000 2009 $118,800
$727,259 2016 $363,629
AVERAGE WSL PRIZE MONEY (PER SURFER)
Alana Blanchard $2.4 million
In 2014, the WSL announced a new policy of partiy in prize money between men and women.
Women in rugby will make half of the men’s minimum salary and can only expect 14% of men’s salaries as they turn pro.
AVERAGE SALARIES 2015
$65,000 to $500,000 $35,000 to $70,000
RUGBY SEVENS TEAMS SALARIES 2016
$90,000 (play twice as many tournaments) $55,000
MATCH FEE 2015
WALLABIES $10,000 WALLAROOS $0
In 2014, the Australian women’s rugby league team, the Jillaroos, became the first ever women’s team to be paid for playing in a test match.
IS THE GAP CLOSING?
Breakdown of Australian sports coverage (ABC, SBS, Seven, Nine, Ten).
BREAKDOWN OF AUSTRALIAN SPORTS COVERAGE
Male Sport 81.1%
Female Sport 7.4%
Women’s sports only receives 7.4% of the sports coverage in Australia.
- Horseracing alone received more air time than all women’s sports combined in Australian TV news
- The promotion of women in sport has been identified by the Australian government as a key focus area
- Over 4 years, an extra 500 hours of women’s sports coverage has been promised by the Australian Labor Party
- Out of all participating TV channels, ABC had the most coverage of female sports
Since 2000, 25 new sports tournaments began paying equal prize money to both men and women competitors.
Sports such as:
- Mountain Biking
A more equal world is coming
The gender pay gap still exists, whether you are playing sport for your country or working in an office. This gap has, however, been recongised and we are starting to see it close, as more female athletes see their achievements recognised in their pay.