This post was written by a student. It has not been fact checked or edited.


The gender pay gap has been widely publicised and discussed in recent years. Discrepancies between pay for men and women in sports are found in companies across the world. There are inconsistencies in pay in various sectors, but in sports, this topic has hit the headlines.

Why is there a gender pay gap in sports?

The root of this is in Victorian society, which viewed sports and playing sports as a masculine endeavor. It was common for women not to be encouraged to play sports, and admired sportspeople were typically men. This situation, although it is changing, remains to a certain extent that men are more likely to be encouraged to play sports, than women. If fact, believe it or not, it wasn’t until the London 2012 Olympics that every country’s delegation include a female competitor.

Which sports have the largest gender pay gap?

The Women’s World Cup was under the spotlight in 2019. The winning team received the prize money which totalled £3.2 million. Although this was double the prize money of the previous tournament, it was still almost ten times less than the men’s prize money of £29 million. The huge difference between the prize money for the winners of the World Cup is down to the increased revenue from the larger audience that men’s football attracts. However, the men’s and women’s World Cup rights are generally sold as a package. According to a BBC survey, around 83% of 63 sports analysed offered the same prize money for both men and women. But this leaves 17% of sports that still have a gender pay gap, and this gap runs into the millions.

How is the pay gap affecting sports?

A 2017 report found that 88% of players in the Women’s Super League in England earn less than £18,000 a year. To put this into perspective, the average player in the men’s Premier League earns approximately £50,000 a week. Why does this matter? Well, the same report found that 90% of players were considering cutting short their careers in order to find a higher paying job or start a family. This hinders the growth of the sport, and the lack of investment in and support of female players has wide-reaching consequences for the current and next generation of footballers.

You might think that this just happens in football but it occurs in every sport, in basketball. Considering basketball, the maximum salary for a Women’s National Basketball Player (WNBA) player is $111,500 whereas for the National Basketball Association (NBA), the minimum salary is $525,093. Further, the average salary in the NBA is $4,500,000 and the average salary in the WNBA is $72,000.


According to Golf Support, the prize money disparity between male and female athletes is 83% in professional golf. If a male and female golf player both wins a tournament, the male player can earn 6 times more than the female player.[59] The average salary for a golfer in the Professional Golfers' Association (PGA) is $973,000 versus $162,000 for a player in the Ladies’ Professional Golfers' Association (LPGA), demonstrating that women in professional golf make 16.6% of what male golfers make annually.


The pay gap between baseball and softball is very far off from each other. The average salary for an MLB player is 4.47 million dollars a year. The average pay for a professional softball player is 6,000 a year. There have been some steps in the right direction as there has been a player who signed a 1 million dollar contract over six years. This is still only 200,000 a year. There is still room for improvement, but there are strides being made in the world of baseball.

The list could go on the never ending list of the inequality in football and sports in general is increasing at an alarming rate.

What can we do to reduce the pay gap?

Do sports organisations do anything to help pay women better in sports?

Comments (2)

You must be logged in with Student Hub access to post a comment. Sign up now!

  • You are right accurate_wombat. The gender pay gap in sports is alarming. It is not just happening in soccer, it is happening in other sports too. It is high time we put an end to this menace.

    “Sport plays a critical role in Australia’s economy, national identity, social cohesion and community well-being. Yet equal pay – the most visible manifestation of a genuine commitment to equality – still remains out of reach for elite women athletes across many sports." - Elizabeth Broderick

    Here are a few things we can do about this problem:
    1.) Use social media: The social media is a very powerful tool and we can use it end the gender disparity in pay that is existent in sports. According to, "Women make up 40% of all participants in sports—yet somehow receive only 4% of sports media coverage". This has had a bad ripple effect on women as they have lost a lot of potential fans and sponsors. It is not fair to women. To solve this, people should give female-led sporting clubs the same amount of support as male-led sporting teams. People can post more news on women sporting games, they can go to more female sporting games, join more female sporting clubs and encourage people to support and sponsor female clubs and athletes. It will help female athletes get back what fans and sponsors they were initially meant to get. Using social media would be a good solution to this problem. Using social media will also help to break the stereotypes people have about male athletes being better than female athletes.

    2.) Enforcing the law of equal pay in sports: There are many laws that safeguard female athlete's right to equal pay. The only problem is that they are not being enforced accordingly. According to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, "The gender pay gap in sport in Australia is enormous. The total remuneration gap for full-time employees is currently 31.5% in the ‘Sports and Physical Recreation Activities’ workforce." This is to show that more work has to be done in order to solve this issue once and for all. In my opinion, sports law enforcing agencies should tighten their efforts to ensure equality in pay and proper penalties should be meted out for defaulters to serve as deterrent to them. If this is done, the result will be positive.

    3.) Establishing whistleblowing programs: (A whistleblowing program is a program that helps to protect companies or people from the effects of misconduct, including legal liability, serious financial losses and lasting reputational harm). Whistleblowing programs that are safe, secure and easy to use should be established so that female athletes who are victims of discrimination in pay and onlookers can voice out complaints on discrimination, harassment and injustice present in sport organizations to constituted law enforcing bodies. Coming forward to expose unfair practices can be discouraging and scary, so maintaining the whistleblower’s security and privacy is essential to encouraging more people to speak out more. This programs will go a long way in helping to assure equality.

    1. I agree because this is becoming very alarming, look at this The average American woman earns 81% of what an average American man earns, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And this stark disparity has hardly budged for more than a decade: the pay gap between men and women has sat at 80%-83% since 2004.
      Basketball (NBA & WNBA) $8,321,937 $75,181
      Golf (PGA & LPGA) $1,235,495 $48,993
      Soccer (MLS & NWSL) $410,730 $35,000
      Softball/Baseball (MLB & NPF) $4,031,549 $6,000
      Tennis (ATP & WTA) $335,946 $283,635
      I mean we need to be more woke if not for anything for the fact that it is the 21 century, we do not need this.

  • Sport participation offers girls an opportunity to build their self-esteem, courage and self-efficacy. It is a place where they can take up leadership positions and through sport programs girls' belief in their own ability increases.
    You can support women in sport by Empower girls from a young age. The value of encouraging girls into sport from a young age can not be underestimated. Also by Equitable pay. As with many industries, there is a gender pay gap in sports.female athletes are less likely to get sponsorships because sponsors tend to have the notion that the image of a female athlete is not as lucrative as that of its male counterparts. However, this needs to be countered to stop the inequality that appears to exist in sports.
    Do Female have an advantage in sports?
    Yes sure every women have an advantage un sport, This has been sometimes blamed on a perception that women aren't as athletically strong as men. However, exercise research has found that women have significant physical advantages. In one study, researchers found that women outperformed men in a key measure of endurance.example women can be found in tennis, where all four Grand Slams have paid the same reward to their male and female champions since 2007, while the report also highlighted efforts that have been taken in cricket to narrow the divide.