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What’s It Like to be a Woman in the Sports Industry?

There are struggles that women face in all branches of this male-dominated industry.

The sports industry is famous for its majority male workforce. The lack of representation has created a work environment that is not always favorable for women. In every aspect of this industry, women struggle to gain the same recognition that men receive.

Athletes

Female athletes regularly make less than men in the same sport, even if they are better than the men’s team. The most famous instance of this pay gap is with the US Women’s National Team. These women are the best of the best in soccer, they won the Women’s World Cup in 2015 and received $2 million. It sounds like a nice amount of prize money until you hear that the men’s World Cup winners received $35 million. The pay gap in sports is certainly getting smaller but there are many women still receiving small amounts of money. The top paid athletes are all men because even though there is more equality among pay, male athletes receive more sponsorship money. That’s why Serena Williams is often the only woman on the list of top paid athletes.

Journalists

Female sports journalists and reporters face daily scrutiny and harassment online and in person. Even though the fans are the ones that may attack them online and harass them during a game, their male coworkers and superiors contribute to the poor work environment. Women must prove themselves hundreds of more times than their male counterparts simply because of their gender. When a woman speaks about her career interests in this field they are often laughed at or receive intense scrutiny and questioning to prove they have the knowledge to work in the field. Women are no strangers to sports and an Ohio University proves just that. In 2014, women were 47 percent of MLB’s fanbase, 45 percent of the NFL’s fanbase and 40 percent NBA’s fanbase. Women’s passion for sports and their interest in working in sports shouldn’t be shocking.

Sports Science

Even though more women are interested and participating in sports, not enough are choosing a career in sports science. An analysis of studies in 2015 showed that only 4% of studies were done by only women. The lack of female representation in the world of sports science can be hazardous towards female athletes. Historically, most studies were done by men about male athletes so the data we use to help improve athletic performance is made to help men and not women. Women who follow guidelines made for male athletes may not reap the same benefits as their male counterparts. Men and women can accomplish whatever they set their minds to but there are a few biological differences that will affect the effectiveness of results of their performance and studies.

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