For decades, there have been conversations about pay disparities that women in sports face. In general, a report from Forbes found women earn about 84 cents to every dollar that men make. Women in sports are constantly fighting to receive the same respect that men’s sports have always automatically received.

Sports Pay

While there has been some progress in tennis and soccer, there is still work to do.

“Numbers don’t lie,” said Olga Harvey, the chief operating officer of the Women’s Sports Foundation. “The gap is significant.”

The basketball league has capped salaries at $136 million for this season; however, the average WNBA player’s salary doesn’t come close to that figure. The average salary didn’t even top $200,000 during the season. Despite how the numbers look, Harvey said that he believes that more progress will come in upcoming years.

“It will require continued advocacy and public opinion,” Harvey said. “The media increasing their coverage brings more sponsorships that results in better pay and a positive spiral that we hope will continue.”

Sports Coverage

There are many notable women in sports history, including Serena and Venus Williams, Simone Biles, Angel Reese and more. Regardless of the sport, women’s games historically don’t get the same media coverage as the male games.

Harvey asserts that women not only deserve to be be featured, but also need more in-depth stories shared beyond the game. Viewership ratings for the 2024 men and women’s NCAA basketball championship games prove that there is an increased interest in women’s sports. For the first time ever, more people watched the women’s matchup between the University of South Carolina and Iowa than the men’s game.

Social media has also played a huge role in garnering more attention to women on the court or field. While the attention to women isn’t always equal to men, Harvey thinks that overall there is a positive response.

“There are always a few naysayers and social media trolls that can be found not being so kind,” she said. “I would say generally speaking the portrayal of women’s sports has been positive.”

Support from Men

Men can continue to help shine a positive light and garner more attention on women’s sports. Harvey suggests that male athletes can show their support simply by wearing women’s athletes jerseys.

“If we continue building that hype around women sports, more and more people who are not women’s sports fans are going to tune in,” Harvey said.