The 2017 theme for International Women’s Day, held on 8 March, focused on “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”.
According to UN Women, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, women globally only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for work of equal value, with this gap larger for women with children.
So how does our sector fare?
2016 Sportspeople Salary Survey – Gender
Looking at the results of the 2016 Sportspeople Salary Survey, the average full time base salary for women was $70,799, with the average base salary for men 20% more, at $84,895. Breaking this down further, 43.4% of female respondents earned less than $60,000 per annum, compared to 25.8% of men. Only 14.5% of females earned $100,000 per annum or more, again lower than the 29.1% of males.
Interestingly, the hourly rate for part time workers saw this wage gap close slightly, with the male average base hourly rate of $33.39 being 4.5% higher than the $31.94 hourly rate for females. 19% of females worked part-time vs 9% of males.
Compared to our 2008 Workplace Survey, when the average male base salary was 26% more than females, the gender gap in average salary is decreasing. The question we need to ask ourselves though, is a 6% improvement in 8 years enough? UN Women state that at current rates, it will take 70 years to bridge the gap.
Whilst there is increasing focus on improving remuneration levels for professional female athletes, we also need to keep our attention on sport administrators and the industry as a whole if we are to keep pace with other sectors.
In 2016, Sportspeople assisted Vicsport under contract to the Department of Health and Human Services in the development of the Guidelines for the recruitment and retention of women in leadership roles: A toolkit for Victorian sport. It is our hope documents like this will be readily utilised to help improve the representation of women in leadership positions across the industry.
In 2017, Sportspeople will be partnering with La Trobe University in the development and analysis of the Sportspeople Workplace Survey, which will incorporate research into the wage gap in the industry. We will be looking for like-minded organisations to partner with us in the circulation of the survey so we can ensure a detailed snapshot for research purposes.
Australia and New Zealand are leaders in so many areas in our industry – let’s add gender equality to the list.