As the father of four daughters and two granddaughters, I pay almost daily attention to stories about men being paid more than women in almost any job you could mention. I urge my family members not to be discouraged because someday the playing field will be level and women and men will be treated equally at work or at play.
The biggest story of the summer was when the Women’s National Soccer Team won the 2019 FIFA World Cup. The winning players made pay equity a major issue and has forced the world organization to deal with this issue. Considering that the American male soccer team didn’t even qualify for the men’s World Cup, they have a very valid issue. A survey of other sports and the way women are treated tells a similar story.
Members of the U.S. Women’s National ice hockey team have been working at supermarkets and other side jobs so they can afford to play their sport. In 2017, that team won the gold at the world championships and won the first Olympic gold medals in 20 years. Were they rewarded for their achievements? You know the answer.
There are two professional basketball associations. Women playing in the WNBA are paid 22.8 percent of WNBA revenues while their male NBA counterparts get 48 percent of the moneys collected. The average salary package in the WNBA is $117,500 and in the NBA it’s $37 million. More women basketball players will be attracted to join the stars playing in the WNBA, if they are paid a fair wage and more people will attend those games.
There are a few sports such as surfing where the prizes are similar, but check the Monday morning golf results and you will see that the prize for male golfers are usually five times more than the female winners. I attended a PGA Women’s championship on Long Island three years ago and I saw some terrific players who play a lot better than some of the better male tour players. Here is one more glaring statistic. The New York Yankee bat boy is paid more than the top women’s professional softball players.
Lest you think that the pay disparity is just in sports, the national studies show that women earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men. A new Long Island study shows that female full-time government employees make 67 cents for every $1 made by their male coworkers. Pay disparity will not go away soon but the more we talk about it, the more employers will find that the spotlight is on them.
Former State Assemblyman Jerry Kremer is a columnist for Long Island Weekly and partner at Ruskin Moscou Faltischek in Uniondale. The views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or Anton Media Group.