By KEVIN SEABROOK
Whether it’s on or off the field, women’s roles in professional sports are scarce on opportunities, salaries and media, according to the Women’s Sports Foundation.
The role of women in decision-making and management is debated heavily today. It creates symbolic matter on the subject of equality. Is equal in today’s world really equal?
Gender equality starts from collegiate sports. Females make up about 57 percent in college student population However, male athletes receive 55 percent of college sports scholarship dollars, allocating women with 45 percent.
According to ESPN.com, in D1, a woman’s college maximum contract for a head coach is estimated at$2,028,932 compared with a male college coach, who earns $5,476,378.
The visibility of women athletes in the sports industry has made a tremendous change from centuries ago according to the Woman’s Sports Foundation. The first Olympic Game of modern era took place in 1896, the idea of women participating was found upon as “unfeminine.”
You can see how it’s greatly made progress (but not enough). According to Olympic.org, by the 1900s, Paris Olympics now allows 11 women to stand beside 1,319 men at opening ceremony, which is a big step since they didn’t allow women to participate in their earlier years.
A survey of sports editors and deputy editors conducted by sportswriters.net from over 280 newspapers in the south region of the United States in 2003 found that 25 percent of the editors believe women are not as athletic than men. Roughly 45 percent said they believe women have little to none of interest in sports.
“People think that men and women are on the same level when it comes to sports, ” said Anna Fucci, a senior point guard for the Ramapo Roadrunners.
Fucci believes that women sports are less watched than men’s sports. She explained that “if there were a young and strong crop of talented women in sports who can mentor the younger girls today than maybe we could have just as strong a fan base as men do.”
Even though men sports are known to be more competitive than women sports women have more options than men when it comes to sports choices here at Ramapo. According to collegeprowler.com, there are about 150 men that play at the collegiate level and 165 women that are playing a sport.
What should be done to fix this problem?
One area is to get variety of gender equality in sports leadership. Worldwide, the number of women in decision-making and leadership positions compared to men is relatively small.
Working to kick down these barriers are strong female role models like Pat Summitt, considered one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time. Summit gained her basketball knowledge as a basketball player, according to published reports. Later in her career she took over coaching the women’s team at the University of Tennessee in 1974 at the age of 22, and last year became the most prestige coach in US college basketball history, racking up over 880 wins. She also added to her resume a gold medal, US women’s first gold medal in the 1984 Olympics.
But Summit is still among the small number of females coaches. Some attribute their lack of female candidates at the professional level giving supportive advice and encouraging young women today.
“Summit is one of the greatest coaches of all time, no matter what barrier is put in between”, said coach Chuck McBreen, head coach of the men’s basketball team.