Equal Pay? Why Settle for That?

14.3 million Americans watched the US Women’s Soccer Team win the World Cup on July 7, 2019. If you were among them, you might have heard the crowd chanting “Equal Pay! Equal Pay!”

Equal pay? Why settle for that? These champions deserve so much more!

Asking for equal pay to a men’s team with inferior skills, teamwork and marketing value means being stuck in a limiting belief about women’s worth. I’m not buying it!

These players should be compensated based on the value they've already created and the promise of what's possible for women’s soccer teams in the future.

Here's some background…

On March 8, 2019, International Women’s Day, the U.S. women's squad brought a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation citing significantly lower earnings than their U.S. Men’s National Team despite having the same job responsibilities and more success.

They cited denial of “at least equal playing, training, and travel conditions; equal promotion of their games; equal support and development for their games; and other terms and conditions of employment equal to the Men’s National Team.” The women’s team and the US Soccer Federation agreed to table the lawsuit during the World Cup and enter mediation moving forward.

This wasn’t the first formal action the U.S. team has taken. In 2016, five players filed a wage discrimination complaint with the EEOC.

Here are just a few data points published by the Wall Street Journal:

• Prize money for this year’s Women’s World Cup is just $30 million compared to $400 million for the 2018 men’s World Cup.

• The Nike USA women’s home jersey is the top-selling soccer jersey, for both men and women, ever sold on Nike’s website in one season. Jersey sales have surged 200% compared with the last tournament held four years ago.

• The Women’s World Cup finals have drawn larger US television audiences than the men’s finals since 2010. Viewer numbers for the men’s final in 2018 were 11.333 million, while the women’s final on Sunday drew 14.3 million. This is a 26% difference!

It’s unfortunate that it took a lawsuit, an EEOC complaint, chants in a stadium broadcast around the world, and a surge of articles and social media posts to bring us to where we are today.

But, we’re finally here. And, I’m optimistic that this movement will positively impact our entire society as well as future generations. What do you think?

Are you being adequately compensated and recognized at work? If not, you might benefit from coaching to develop executive presence, emotional intelligence or move beyond a limiting belief. Send me a note if you’d like to discuss what’s possible.