“Equal pay, equal pay, equal pay.” The crowd roared.
When we look back at 2019 so far, it is clear there is growing interest in equality for female athletes. There has been much focus on equal representation, equal opportunities and, the big one: equal pay.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the median full-time annual income for men that are classified as a sportsperson (includes athletes from all levels that earn money from their sport) is $67,652. Women in this category earn $42,900. That is a gap of $24,752.
However, the pay gap is much wider when you look at the top-tier athletes.
For example, in the soccer World Cup, if the Matildas had won the entire competition, they would have received $4 million in prize money. That figure is just half of what the Socceroos earned for simply qualifying to play in the World Cup.
However, in 2019 it appears as though the tides are turning.
Let us look back at the year so far – here is the good, the bad and the ridiculous:
AFL player Tayla Harris was the target of degrading comments after an inspiring photo was posted of her kicking.
Here’s a pic of me at work... think about this before your derogatory comments, animals. pic.twitter.com/68aBVVbTTj— Tayla Harris (@taylaharriss) March 19, 2019
Amid the Women’s World Cup buzz, the Matildas revealed the second jobs they have to keep to make ends meet while playing professional sport.
Disadvantageous airtime for high profile matches in tennis and soccer minimised viewer numbers.
Genuine question: Why is Channel 7 (7Two) broadcasting Nick Kyrgios - the world's Number Whatever male player - when at the very same time Ash Barty - the world Number 1 female player - also an Australian - is playing? Seven, there is something seriously wrong with your judgment.— John Lyons (@TheLyonsDen) July 2, 2019
"This is a disaster from FIFA."— Grant Wahl (@GrantWahl) October 3, 2018
Allowing the 2019 men's Copa América final and men's Gold Cup final to be on the same day as the women's World Cup final shows exactly what FIFA thinks of the women's game. For all of PFTV Ep 43: https://t.co/LgalcLFafE pic.twitter.com/CWv9oLfDXy
Focus from the talent of Ukrainian Elina Svitolina’s tennis win came second to her outfit choice.
This is ridiculous. Can we focus on the game and the skill of the athlete please? https://t.co/2r06rZu0jk— Libby Lyons (@WGEADirector) July 2, 2019
One in eight men had the opinion that they could score a point in a game of tennis against World No. 9, Serena Williams.
... But Serena had an excellent response.
The Male Champions of Change Sport released their 2019 Pathway to Pay Equality with 20 signatories and 12 different Australian sports represented.
Old arguments against pay equity in sport don’t stack up. Find out why in MCC Sports’ Pathway to Pay Equality released today. Thanks to all the sports and gender equality leaders who contributed. https://t.co/9wvrSfbgEh pic.twitter.com/GS0sByypl5— MaleChampsofChange (@malechampions) February 17, 2019
The AFLW grand final broke a new record with more than 53,000 attending.
With 53,034 fans at Adelaide Oval today #AFLWGrandFinal attendance records smashed -this is the biggest audience for a womens sporting event in Australia ever. Ever. Congrats @CrowsAFLW on a sensational win, and valiant game by @CarltonFC #AfLWGF #aflw @aflwomens #womeninsport pic.twitter.com/iHZQXZdq2X— sam mostyn (@sammostyn) March 31, 2019
Businesses in Australia and abroad are standing behind their female athletes and challenging stereotypes.
On 24 June, in less than 12 hours, three women rose to number one in their sports: Sally Fitzgibbons, Ash Barty and Hannah Green.
First LPGA Tour Win ✅— LPGA (@LPGA) June 23, 2019
First Major Title ✅
Hannah Green wins the 2019 KPMG Women's PGA Championship!
Cricket Australia announced equal pay for female and male cricketers in next year’s Twenty20 World Cup.
"Saying players shouldn’t be paid because they don’t bring in the money, is just punishing them for historical under-investment."— Cricket Australia (@CricketAus) July 17, 2019
Our EGM of Communications & Stakeholder Engagement @karinakeisler provides insight into CA's pay equity strategy via @theage https://t.co/vpngw005lQ
The US women’s soccer team disproved all the common justifications given for pay inequality in sport.
In Opinion— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 8, 2019
Lauren Peace writes, “As the final whistle blew on Sunday afternoon, we were reminded of an America in which women can fight for equal pay and better working conditions and have a stadium of thousands chanting right alongside them” https://t.co/lLGBIISgrb
We are having more conversations about equality in sport than ever before and the momentum keeps building.
Asked what she thinks about remarks that she should 'stop fighting for equality and just focus on the tennis,' Serena Williams responds: "The day I stop fighting for equality and for people that look like you and me will be the day I'm in my grave." pic.twitter.com/5aUTYU9eCH— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) July 13, 2019