• I n basketball, the $5.85 million per year average NBA salary (in 2008-2009) is 59 times
higher than the $99,500 salary of WNBA athletes.
• I n golf, the annual prize money for women in the LPGA rose by 234 percent between 2006
and 2008 to $62 million, while the PGA annual prize money for men rose by 310 percent to
• I n tennis, even though five of the top 10 highest-paid players are women, the top-paid
male tennis player, Roger Federer, earns $9 million more than the top-paid woman, Maria
• I n all sports, the 50 highest-earning athletes in the U.S. (salary, winnings, endorsements,
appearances and bonuses) in 2008 were exclusively men.
These are stats from The White House Project Report on equity in various fields including sport.
The report also notes the lack of leadership and pay equity at various levels of sport, in the US and internationally.
In college coaching and leadership, there is a wide salary differential, linked to the gender of the
coach and of the team. Women in college coaching earn between 40 and 70 cents for every dollar
their male counterparts earn, figures reminiscent of the wage gap of the 1950s. With Division One teams, that difference can add up to over $500,000. The average salary of a Division One women’s team head coach was $659,000 in the 2005-06 season, compared with $1,202,400 for the men’s team coach. In Division One basketball for the same year, the men’s team head coach averaged $409,600, more than double the average salary of the women’s basketball coach.
In the professional leagues, the gender gap can be even more dramatic. The commissioner of the
Professional Golfers Association (PGA), Tim Finchem, brings home a salary of $4.8 million, twice
the earnings of the leading female Ladies Professional Golfers Association (LPGA) tour leader.
Things are not so good for women of color either:
A National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) study from the 2003-2004 season showed that, among the largest universities, 14.8 percent of female athletes were of color, yet only half of that percentage of female head coaches were black,339 and a mere 3 percent of coaches overall were women.
A more recent study of black women athletes and head coaches in the NCAA in the 2007-2008
season shows that, while 47 percent of female Division I athletes who play basketball are African-American, only 11 percent of the female head coaches are African-American.
In the 2008 WNBA season, there was one female African-American head coach. Of Sports
Illustrated’s most recent “101 Most Influential Minorities in Sport,” only 11 women of color are listed: nine are African-American and two are Asian.
I could spend all morning cutting and pasting from this report. But I think you should just go check it out yourself. As I said it addresses other fields such as the entertainment industry, religion, politics, and academia.