Gender pay gap in sport not likely to narrow anytime soon

woman playing football, sport
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The gender pay gap between men and women in sports is not likely to narrow anytime soon, according to a new report.

The study, released jointly by Women on Boards UK (WOB) and Women on Boards Australia, found that ‘the huge pay gap in many sports is not likely to close anytime soon’.

Following on from research conducted in 2014, the report found that there were still considerable difference in the pay received by female and male athletes in sports such as basketball, golf and football. However, it was suggested that there had been slight improvements in cricket, with the introduction of the T20 game seen to be “significantly benefitting female players.”

The 2016 Gender Balance in Global Sport report was completed in the run-up to this year’s Olympic games in Rio, where thousands of female athletes were competing and winning medals across the board.

The report argues that the gender pay gap is a by-product of the growing commercialisation of sports, where media rights and sponsorship contracts drive many tournament and player’s wages.

While a pay gap still exists, the study found that female players were no longer preparing to be treated as second class citizens and sports bodies are seeking to address the gender pay issues.

Fiona Hathorn, Managing Director of Women on Boards UK, said, “There are a lot of arguments put forward that women’s sport is not as physical and not as good to watch.”

“Yet this is really just an example of bias at play.”

“Had our culture been used to seeing women, rather than men, play football and rugby for generations, we would find the idea of men playing these games a bit novel – it’s all a matter of perspective.”

About the author

Alison is the Digital Content Editor for WeAreTheCity. She has a BA Honours degree in Journalism and History from the University of Portsmouth. She has previously worked in the marketing sector and in a copywriting role. Alison’s other passions and hobbies include writing, blogging and travelling.

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