This feeds into salary inequality. Professional male cyclists enjoy average pay of around £100,000 a year but there is no minimum wage for professional female riders. Most Women’s Super League players make around £20,000 a year whereas an average Premiere League player earns £31,000 a week. England captain Steph Houghton makes £65,000 a year, while her male equivalent Wayne Rooney makes just under £300,000, a week.
Only 0.4% of all corporate sports sponsorship in the UK goes to women’s sport, men get more prize money than women in 30% of sports and the total women’s World Cup payout was 40 times less than the men’s.
The FA’s now infamous tweet welcoming home the women’s football team with the message, “Our #Lionesses go back to being mothers, partners and daughters today, but they have taken on another title – heroes”, led to an outcry about sexism in sport. And beyond ill-advised social media, there are hard facts that speak to the disparity between men and women in the industry.
It’s fair to say that women’s sport is having a moment but let’s hope it’s more than just that. Gender inequality still pervades the industry and business has an important role in overcoming it.
Serena Williams played her way to a sixth Wimbledon title on Saturday and is now being hailed as one of the greatest players of all time. In June, the 2015 England women’s World Cup team took third place in the most watched football event in US television history, and England’s women’s cricket team is aiming for a third straight victory this month in the Women’s Ashes series.