Position Paper

Jolyn Swimwear & Clothing Company

Overcoming the Gender Gap in Sports

Pay inequality among female and male athletes is an unremitting issue worldwide. Yet feeble attempts have been made to correct the problem in the United States. Women athletes play just as hard as their male counterparts, and deserve to be recognized through equal pay opportunities.

The typical female makes 78 cents to every dollar a man makes, according to the White House. This gap is even greater among female and male athletes. For example, during the WNBA’s 2015 season, female basketball players had a minimum salary of $38,913 and a maximum salary of $109,500, stated the Women’s Sports Foundation website. In the same study, the NBA league players had a minimum salary of $525,093 and the maximum salary was $16.4 million. The pay inequality among other sports, such as soccer and golf, is even greater.

In 2014, President Obama signed an executive order to “empower workers to take control over negotiations regarding their pay,” stated the White House website. This executive action was meant to eradicate the pay gap between men and women in all careers, and on any position levels.

However, it is still apparent that a pay gap exists in the sporting realm between men and women. The biggest push for equal pay among athletes has come from the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team. The women sued the U.S. Soccer Federation for unequal pay despite outperforming the men’s squad. The women felt as if the federation was piggybacking on the success of the female athletes without fairly compensating them. The women’s team in response launched the “Equal Pay for Equal Play” conversation. The team has undoubtably had a successful few years, yet they get payed less than the underperforming men’s team. After the women’s World Cup win the team took away $2 million from the tournament. The U.S. men’s team came away with $9 million after finishing 11th.

The gender gap in sports isn’t about strength or competition between sexes. It is about progress and equality. If a woman earns a championship, it should be considered of equal value to the men’s award. Women’s sports teams and organizations perform the same job duties and undertake the same responsibilities as the men’s programs.

Some may argue that female athletes are compensated less because of the lack of viewers and audience turnout. That is not the case for women’s soccer who captured the most watched World Cup final in the U.S. with 25.4 million viewers or Serena Williams who consistently ties with men’s ratings, according to Sports Media Watch. In the sports media realm, female athletes in 2014 were only covered 3.2 percent of the time by ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” claimed Louisa Thomas in an article for The New Yorker. This lack of coverage leads to lack of interest among viewers. It isn’t the lack of support for women’s sports, it is the absence of media coverage driving the gap.

Women deserve to be payed accordingly, and in the same ballpark as their male counterparts. The Jolyn Clothing Company is an advocate, for not only female athletes right to equal pay, but for women everywhere to have equal earnings in comparison to men for the same job. Jolyn is a female based company with equal pay opportunities for all. In the sports realm, we encourage everyone to support female athletes by attending sporting events and watching competitions. Join us in becoming an advocate for equal pay for equal work among humans. It’s 2016, and it’s time for change.


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