The issue of women’s equality in sports is evident, especially with events like the U.S. Women’s Soccer team filing a federal case against U.S. Soccer. The lawsuit stems from the fact that the women’s team is being paid 40 percent less than the men’s team despite winning the World Cup, a game that shattered the record of worldwide viewers with nearly 750 million people watching for a least one minute.
The team was awarded $2 million for their first place finish.
While this amount is significant, it pales in comparison to the $9 million the U.S. men’s team received last year after losing in round sixteen. It also appears minuscule to the $35 million Germanys men’s team received for winning.
The issue may not seem as relevant on a campus as small as Pacific’s, but Lauren Spicer, a sophomore on the Women’s Soccer team shared her thoughts on the subject.
“I kind of thought at such a small school, people would be more interested in sports no matter the gender,” said Spicer. “I think it’s interesting that people care so much about sports like football when women’s sports do just as well, if not better in some cases.”
In 1972, when Title IX was signed into law specifically to bridge the gender gap bias, 90 percent of women’s college teams were coached by women, according to research from the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport.
By 2012, that number fell to 42.9 percent.
Meanwhile, the percentage of women coaching men’s teams at the collegiate level has remained almost exactly the same at around 2 percent for the last 40 years.
“Pacific does a good job being inclusive, but I think the culture surrounding American sports is so strong it makes it hard for us to overcome that barrier,” said Spicer.
Nationally speaking, women have been taking huge strides in bridging the gender gap.
Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs became the NBA’s first female head coach at Summer League and brought home the trophy.
Nancy Lieberman also became an NBA assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings.
Also Jen Welter was the first ever woman to land a coaching internship in the NFL.