Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Be the change - how can we change the lack of women in Forbes top earning athletes list?

Notice anything about Forbes highest earning athletes?!  PIC Forbes
So just when lots of things seemed to be coming together for women in sport, out comes Forbes with their list of biggest earners in sport and there are zero women in this year's Top 100. Zero. What can we do about this?

It's depressing. To be honest it's made worse by seeing Floyd Mayweather's name at the very top of the list, Mayweather who spent time in prison for domestic violence. But he earns more than any female athlete you care to name. Thanks world.

In the last eight years there certainly weren't dozens of women. Last year in a sign of what was to come there was just one: Serena Williams. Forbes say the data used comes from any prize money, salaries and bonuses earned by each athlete between June 1, 2017 and June 1, 2018 so as this year she is on glorious maternity leave, that apparently leaves no-else coming close to serious money.

She did make in the region of 18m dollars according to Forbes but why so relatively little? Forbes told CNN they expect her back in the Top 100 next year when she resumes playing, but really is that the best we can hope for?

In 2013 The Economist had an optimistic outlook saying women's success was producing financial rewards which I blogged about here, but that hope now seems to be evaporating in the face of hard figures.

The IOC is a huge proponent of gender equity but that doesn't seem to be pulling in the endorsements, the prime time viewing slots either. So grim.

What's next for women like you and I who want more focus on women's sport?

More shouting from the roof-tops I'd say! More blogging, more media articles and more watching women's sport - on TV, online and physically going to games and fights and races and anything that grabs your fancy.

Sponsors, brands and broadcasters respond to numbers - let's keep on increasing the visibility, increasing the noise until they respond to us.

Find out what brands support your local women's team or individual  - and support them, let them know they have your money because they have our back.

When RTE (as I'm in Ireland ) broadcast a women's game or event, give them a shout-out on Twitter. Let them know you are watching and you appreciate it. Coverage leads to sponsorship for those women ...eventually.

Be loud, be heard and be present!  Any other ideas - what can we do?

Full details on Forbes Richest Athletes

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