Stories #1–3

Story#1 Woman Play the Game as the Men get Paid

Equal Play Equal Pay

Weather it be in basketball, tennis, or soccer gender inequity is still a big problem in professional sports today. In tennis, where men and woman play and compete along side one in the same stadiums around the world women are still paid significantly less than their male pears. Last year Sierra Williams won $459,000 for defending her title in the U.S. open, were hours before Roger stadiums won $731,000 in prize money. Woman in tennis are also paid significantly less than men in 5 other similar Premier events around the world.

In basketball it is just a fact that the highest paid player in the WNBA will make 1/5 of what one of the lowest paid player in the NBA would make. Also ESPN pays the WNBA 12 million dollars in annual rights fees, as they pay the NBA 1.47 billion dollars.

The WNBA highest paied player, Diana Taurasi was paid the WNBA highest salary of $107,500 . Taurasi is a very hard working and dedicated player who helped her team the Phoenix Mercury win there first ever League Championship. But Rakeem Christmas professional basketball player in the NBA who only played 198 minutes over they corse of a season was paid the NBA minimum salary of $490,180.

Many people would make the argument that woman sports do not generate as much money as men sports but with some sports that is not the case. The United States Women’s National Soccer Team (USWNT) has world record breaking television ratings and has also grossed over 20 million dollars in revenue for the club last yer. Coming off there 5–2 World Cup victory in 2015 over Japan made each player an additional bonus of 2 million dollars in prize money, well the Men’s U.S National Team lost 2 million dollars for the club in revenue. The Men also lost in the round of 16 in The World Cup, but they were still paid an additional 9 million dollars in additional prize money. “The largest part of the problem is that FIFA is a profoundly sexist organization,” says Smith College.

Gianni Dinote, the new FIFA president told Sports Illustrated that “the prize money today is linked with the revenues that are generated.” Even though Dinote has spoken many times about equality between women’s and men’s soccer and has agreed that equal pay should be given. Dinote has also expressed a desire to create a new women’s division in FIFA, to help promote women soccer globally and this will also bring lots of money to FIFA.

It’s not just FIFA to blame, the U.S Soccer association is also guilty. If the USWNT and the USMNT played 20 friendlies and over the course of those 20 friendlies if the woman win every game and then the men lose each game the men’s team would still make more than the women’s team. For every match no matter if they win or lose the men’s team will earn at least $5,000 for every additional game they play over the course of 20-games. The women will receive no additional pay for these additional game.

Hope solo tells huffington post that “In this day and age, it’s about equality,” Solo said. “It’s about equal rights. It’s about equal pay. We’re pushing for that. We believe now the time is right because we believe it’s our responsibility for women’s sports, and specifically for women’s soccer, to do whatever it takes to push for equal pay and equal rights. And to be treated with respect.”

Taking a Stand

In march five of the star players on USWNT filed a lawsuit claiming wage discrimination due to the teams gender, the players were also calling for an investigation of The U.S soccer Orgaiztion, the team also wanted to go on strike. The U.S district court judge said that the team was bound to an implied no-strike clause contained in their labor contract. The U.S. Federation states “Judge Coleman ruled in favor of U.S. Soccer and affirmed that the existing CBA with the U.S. Women’s National Team Players Association is valid through the end of 2016, including the no-strike, no lockout provision,” the federation wrote. “We are pleased with the Court’s decision and remain committed to negotiating a new CBA to take effect at the beginning of next year.” The team tried to argue that last labor contract expired in 2012 but each member side signed mutual understanding to extend the contract till official December this year. So the team can not go on strike in till next year.

U.S. Soccer released this statement after the ruling was made “There are no legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for this gross disparity of wages, nor can it be explained away by any bona fide seniority, merit or incentive system or any factor other than sex…”

Alex Morgan one of the star forwards on the USWNT who helped filed the lawsuit tells NBC’s today’s show “Every single day we sacrifice just as much as the men. We work just as much, We endure just as much physically and emotionally. Our fans really do appreciate us every day for that. We saw that with the high of last summer. We’re really asking, and demanding now, that our federation, and our employer really, step up and appreciate us as well.”

Goalkeeper Hope Solo who was another one of the players to file the lawsuit states, “The numbers speak for themselves, We are the best in the world, have three World Cup championships, four Olympic championships.” Solo said the men’s players “get paid more to just show up then we get paid to win major championships.”

Hope Solo and Alex Morgan were also joined by the co-captains Cari Lloyd and Becky Carli,and midfielder Megan Rapinoe when they filed the complaint.“This is one of the strongest case of discrimination against women athletes in violation of law that I have ever seen,” Kessler said in a statement. “It should of had a positive outcome.”

Even though the law suit did not go in favor of the women’s team will continue to fight for equal pay and equal rights until they get it. Co-Captain Cari Lloyd tells ESPN “In many ways we are fortunate but in many ways we are not, In 2005 there were no salaries, there were no health benefits and you guys fought for that. So this is our time to do this and we are bringing revenue in so we do deserve equal pay.”

More Problems

Another big problem in professional women sports is equal playing conditions. The USMNT has played on perennial ryegrass for over 2 years, and the USWNT has played artificial turf for as long as they can remember. Artificial turf is a synthetic fiber made to look like grass. This turf can cause injuries fields ankle Sprains, Concussions and Major Knee Injuries. Last year the USWNT traveled to Hawaii for the first time, but they canceled the game due to the horrible field conditions.

The USWNT was scheduled to play a victory tour match in Honolulu Hawaii. After the team pre game training a few days before the match the USWNT decided to cancel the game. It was cancelled because the team ruled that the turf was “unfit for play” and the team could not take the chance of injuries. After the training many players took to social media to spread the word. Hope Solo tweeted out photos of the turf. The photos showed a section of the turf lifting up out of the ground. There was also small sharp pieces of plastic were on the field as well.

The playing conditions of the USWNT are puzzling when compared to the men’s team. Both teams are overseen by USSF, the USMNT play on grass 100% of the time and the women’s team plays only 60% if that on grass. Alex Morgan tells reporters, “I think the training grounds that we were given and the playing surface of the stadium were horrible, It’s hard because no one’s really going to protect us but ourselves. So we’re put in a very hard position because obviously we want to play in front of these fans and we want to train before the game but injuries happen when you don’t protect yourself and when you’re not protected from those higher up from you.”

Conclusion

When it comes to women sport equal pay is not a question. As we see in tennis, men and women compete right alongside one another and yet women are still payed less then men. We see in basketball women may work twice as hard and bring more success to the team then men and they are still be paid significantly less than their male peers. This pay gap is justified by the fact that men’s team bring in more revenue than woman. But even in a case where women work hard, bring in a world championships, gold medals and more revenue than the men’s team they are still paid 40% less than the men. Why is this acceptable? And more importantly why are we letting it happen?

Story#2

In today’s society women make up over half the work forces. Many women have more successful careers then men and yet in most families are there spouse that brings home the most income. Also on average women are also more qualified then men because women would receive more college and graduate degrees then men. Even though all the success women have had women still continue to earn a lot less then men.

Studies that were taking in 2015 have shown that, a full time female worker will make only 80 cents for every dollar that a full time male worker would make. This is a wage gap of 20% the only factor of this wage gap is gender. At almost every job women will earn less then men on a consistent rate.

IWPR is The Institute for Women’s Policy Research this is an organization founded in 1987 by Heidi Hartmann, this an organization that will help with research in women policitys. IWPR helps to record these gender caused wage gaps by a array of data renewed twice a year . According to The Institute For Women’s Policy Research “IWPR’s research shows that, irrespective of the level of qualification, jobs predominantly done by women pay less on average than jobs predominantly done by men. Women have made tremendous strides during the last few decades by moving into jobs and occupations previously done almost exclusively by men, yet during the last decade there has been very little further progress in the gender integration of workers occupations, like construction, there has been no progress in forty years. This persistent occupational segregation is a primary contributor to the lack of significant progress in closing the wage gap. According to a recent regression analysis of federal data by IWPR, the poverty rate for working women would be cut in half if women were paid the same as comparable men.”

Many People have spoken out against the gender pay gap including many celebrities. Jessica Alba an American actress, model and businesswoman says “Women don’t get equal pay, there are not as many women in government positions or business positions. It’s just not equal. And until there is equality, you’re going to feel that, in any industry. But I was like, girls should have an equal seat at the table. Take Jennifer Lawrence. I mean, she’s opening films — she’s the box-office draw just as much as any guy, if not more. She should be compensated for that.”

Even one of Americas icons Beyonce took time to talk about this important issues she says, “We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more — commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.”

Women of Color

If you think women in general have it bad with a 20% pay gap, women of color have it way worse. According to Huffington Post if a white male earns $50,383 a year then a white women earn $39,621. After 40 years of workiing white woman would earn $430,480 less then a man but a Latina woman would $1,007,080 less then a man, a African American woman would earn $877,480 less then a man, and a Native American would earn less $883,040 then man.

Women form all ages, all backgrounds, also all levels of educational, and yes also race are effected by this pay gap. Native Hawaiian, African American, Hispanic and Latina, and American Indian are the races that are most commonly effected by this pay gap.

Your average working African American women will only make 75% of what a man would earn compare to the 80% to 83% that a white woman would earn when compared to what men would earn. According to Pew Research Center “In 2015, average hourly wages for black and Hispanic men were $15 and $14, respectively, compared with $21 for white men. Only the hourly earnings of Asian men ($24) outpaced those of white men. Among women across all races and ethnicities, hourly earnings lag behind those of white men and men in their own racial or ethnic group. But the hourly earnings of Asian and white women ($18 and $17, respectively) are higher than those of black and Hispanic women ($13 and $12, respectively) — and also higher than those of black and Hispanic men.”

What is Causing the Pay Gaps?

It is no secret that men are paid 20% more then women but why? Research shows that most of the time these gaps can be explained by differences in education, labor force experience, occupation or industry and other measurable factors. When women try to build their careers they often get stalled or stopped, and men have many opportuneities to continue and advance there career .This is most likely one of the biggest causes for this pay gap. Another huge contributor to the wage gap is the fact that women tend to take time off of work to have and care for children. There is nothing wrong with taking time off to have children but this does effect the way woman are seen and paid in the work place, but there is a way to help according to the Washington Exammer “IWF proposes helping women who return to the workforce save for retirement by expanding “catch-up” contributions to IRAs and 401(k)s. Americans over 50 are allowed to make larger contributions to their savings accounts as they anticipate retirement. IWF suggests affording a similar opportunity to workers who miss time taken to care for children or other family members.“This would move away from a system that penalizes caregivers and help people save more so they have their own safety net ready for retirement,” IWF wrote in their report.”

But what are we doing to fix the pay gap?

How are We Fixing Pay Gaps in America?

Back in 2009 President Barack Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act this act was made to insure that everyone is being payed equally and if they are not they will get the chance to fix that. The Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act is is a federal law made in the United States. This act states that After you recive your first unfair pay check you have a 180-day period to file an equal pay lawsuit. You would file this law suit if you think you were paid unequally or unfairly due to your gender.

“The law directly addressed Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 550 U.S. 618 (2007), a U.S. Supreme Court decision that the statute of limitations for presenting an equal-pay lawsuit begins on the date that the employer makes the initial discriminatory wage decision, not at the date of the most recent paycheck.” -wikipedia.org

The Lily Ledbetter Fair PayAct is named after Lily Ledbetter, a former employee of Goodyear who alleged that she was paid anywhere from 15 to 40% less than her male counterparts, which later will be found to be accurate description of her pay.

Conclusion

Right now women only make 80 cent compared to a dollar made by a man, a 20% pay gap and as a society we need to change that. By closing the pay gap caused by gender we can help to create a more equal and well working society.

If people as a whole start to value women’s work and skills it will help to motivate women an it will also help increase women performance levels and improve women’s work ethic increasing. By increasing women’s earnings throughout there life, women have a smaller risk of falling into poverty in there older ages, right now women over the age of 65 have a 22% rate of falling into poverty as men over 65 only have a 16% rate of falling into poverty. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, research shows that women won’t receive equal pay until 2059 and white women are ahead of Hispanic and Latina,African American, American Indian, and Native Hawaiian women. It will take over 40 years for women to recive equal pay, we have to fix this and fast.

Story#3

A federal law passed in 1994 called Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act insures that there is gender equity in colleges and universities across America. If this law is true then why is it still happening today?

In colleges we see this happen in a few different ways. We see it in the pay gap between college coaches, the fact that there are only a few woman in high athletic director position at universities or colleges, and the NCAA has made a rule that women basketball players must wait to finish college before going pro this rule does not apply for male players.

Pay gap between college coaches.

It is true that coaches for women’s team’s salaries are increasing, but they are still significantly less than their male peers. At the same school a women’s basketball coach will be paid 2 to 3 time less than then a men’s basketball coach. We see examples of this pay gap happening all around the country.

In Texas the average coach of a men’s program make about 1.3 million dollars more than the average coach for a women’s team. According to the Department of Education this is also happening at many colleges around the country. If you look at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, Men team coaches on average earn about 1.1 million dollars more than women’s team coaches.

On average the head coach of a woman team will only earn 25% of what the head coach of a men team would make. Vanderbilt and Texas and two of the biggest examples of this pay gap.

For some people it’s not just about the money, it’s about the quality of a coach you get. Donna Lopiano, the president and founder of Sport Management Resources states “You can’t pay your men’s basketball coach $2 million and hire a lesser quality coach for women,” Lopiano said. “Where’s the $2 million coach for women? That’s what Title IX would ask. Title IX doesn’t look at salary, it looks at the quality of the coach a school is hiring,” Lopiano said. “Rather than automatically paying a men’s basketball coach more than a women’s basketball coach,” Lopiano asks that “the coach’s past success and longevity be the ultimate factor in salary.”

In the statement Lopiano mentioned Title IX, Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” According to Miss Heard Magazine “The Importance of Title IX and Women’s Sports. In 1972, a law was enacted to help prevent gender discrimination in the United States educational athletic system. This law, known commonly as Title IX, gives each gender equal rights to educational programs, activities, and federal financial assistance.”

Before Title IX was made, young women were only 7% of the students participating in any collage sports. According to Gender Equity in Athletics and Sports “In 1101, young women are 41.5% of the students participating in collage sports. In raw numbers, we went from 300,000 to 2.7 million athletes-a gain of over 800%.”

After Title IX was made there was an immediate response about how it would effect men’s sports according to History Now “Worried about how it would affect men’s athletics, legislators and collegiate sports officials became concerned and looked for ways to limit its influence. One argument was that revenue-producing sports such as college football should be exempted from Title IX compliance. Another was that in order for schools and colleges to comply, they would have to cut men’s sports such as wrestling. Others argued that federal legislation was not the way to achieve equality or even parity. Finally, conservative opponents of women’s rights believed that feminists used Title IX as an all-purpose vehicle to advance their agenda in the schools. Since 1975, there have been twenty court challenges to Title IX in an attempt to whittle down greater gender equity in all fields of education — mirroring the ups and downs of the women’s movement at large. According to the National Federation of State High School and Collage Associations, female students received 1.3 million fewer opportunities to participate in high school athletics than their male peers in the 2006–2007 school years. Yet as a result of Title IX, women have benefited from involvement in amateur and professional sports and, in turn, sports are more exciting with their participation.” Title IX may be o the most important things to happen in women’s sports ever.

Just 40 years ago many women were even not allowed into many colleges, let alone get athletic scholarships or work in athletic, and now today women have the chance to be see as equals on the field as players or off the field as coaches, and yet many women in athletics are not seen as equals. We can see this in the fact that there are only a few women head coaches, and or athletic directors.

There are only a few women in important athletic director position

In today’s society there are enormous gender inequality in college sports significantly found in Athletic administration specifically happening in, head coaching, or athletic directors positions. People in Athletic Director Positions are normally strong, respectable, men who normally rule the athletic wing in a very strict and often cruel way. In our rapidly changing society we see that male athletic director or head coaches may not be they way to go.

The era for women’s sports have finally arrived, for the long time women were exclude from many opportuneities in sports and this is still happening today just not as extreme. Many woman did not have success when they tried to have a career in athletics, even if they did have success they would risk their femininity to have a career. Due to our culture today that encourages gender equity we see some women in athletic director positions such as head coaches or athletic directors and we have seen many sucsses.

In the United States even though the number today for females in head coaching is at a all time high women only fill less the 25% of head coaching jobs and athletic director positions available in college athletics in the United States states.

Women are still almost never taken seriously when considered for jobs coaching a men’s team. There is not a single woman coaches for a men’s team in Division I for any team sport, so because of this the total number of female coaches has dropped less than 20 percent. The percentage of female coaches increases slightly at schools where a woman heads the athletic department but remains under 50 percent.

When women and girls don’t have the chance to be coached by women, they lose an opportunity to have strong female role models. Having a strong female role model is important for girls and young women to have, also having only male coaches sends female athletes the message that coaching jobs aren’t for them, it shows them that coaching must only be for men. When athletic directors consistently hire men over similarly qualified women, they send the message that men make better leaders. And that is not the message we want to send to girls and young women all across America today.

The NCAA New Rule that Women Basketball players must wait to finish collage before going pro this rule does not apply for male players

The NCAA has made a new rule that requires American women basketball players must wait four years after graduating high school before going pro, no matter the player’s age. As the Male basketball players are allowed to enter the NBA only one year after graduating from high. The WNBA age/education policy is one of the only police established today for a professional sports league that delays a potential class of players from entering the professional leagues until their expected dates of college graduation.

The WNBA age/ education policy has caused a national debate on why women have to wait 4 years after graduating from high school and men only have to wait 1 years after their graduation. The Northwestern Journal of Law and Social Policy share that it is “Based on the two drastically different sets of circumstances that existed for Oden and Paris as a result of their respective genders, it is clear that the legal and ethical impact of age/education policies in professional sports, although often portrayed as a men’s issue, has an equally great impact upon the rights, behaviors, and responsibilities of female athletes.”

Conclusion

The number of women in sports has increased a lot over the years, but it still has a lot of growing to do. Many drastic measures have been put in to place to make sure that women are seen as equals in sports. The Title IX and The Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act are only some of the measures taken take in. Women’s sports have grown a lot but still have a long way to go.

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