This Week In Women’s Sports: WSF Studies Gender Bias In College Sports, USWNT Loses In Court

This Week In Women’s Sports: WSF Studies Gender Bias In College Sports, USWNT Loses In Court

Women’s Sports Foundation study reveals widespread gender bias in college sports
This week the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF) released the report, “Beyond X’s & O’s: Gender Bias and Coaches of Women’s College Sports,” which measures the issue of gender bias in the coaching of women’s college sports. The survey represents responses from over 2,500 female and male respondents who are currently coaching in college athletics.
Founded by tennis legend, Billie Jean King, the Women’s Sports Foundation is the leading authority on the participation of women and girls in sports and is dedicated to creating leaders by ensuring girls access to sports.
Below are key findings from the study:
Men said to have more professional advantages than women. About two-thirds (65%) of current coaches felt that it was easier for men to get top-level coaching jobs, while three-quarters (75%) said men had an easier time negotiating salary increases. More than half (54%) believed that men are more likely to be promoted, to secure a multiyear contract upon hiring (52%), and to be rewarded with salary increases for successful performance (53%).
Potential retaliation and less pay. Thirty-three percent of female coaches indicated that they were vulnerable to potential retaliation if they ask for help with a gender bias situation. More than 40% of female coaches said they were “discriminated against because of their gender,” compared to 28% of their male colleagues. Almost half (48%) of the female coaches and just over a quarter of the male coaches (27%) in the study reported “being paid less for doing the same job as other coaches.”
Unequal resources between men’s and women’s teams. About one in three (32%) current female head coaches and 19% of current male head coaches believed that men’s sports received more resources than women’s sports. Less than half (46%) of female coaches and 58% of male coaches believed that men’s and women’s teams were treated equally.
The report provided the following policy recommendations regarding compensation, hiring and promotion practices:
  • Institutions of higher education should require their respective offices of human resources to regularly audit compensation practices of their athletic programs.
  • Prior to the approval of compensation offers to new hires or increases in salary and benefits to current head or assistant coaches of athletic teams, the institutional Office of Human Resources should ensure that offers meet standards established by the 1997 Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Enforcement Guidance on Sex Discrimination in the Compensation of Sports Coaches in Educational Institutions.

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