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Tiffany Meh / Spoon

Unequal Pay in Media

It’s no secret that men and women have been treated unequally over the years. Within the workforce, women are commonly making less than men. As a woman going into the media field, the idea of inequality is important to me. It should go without saying, but people who are working the same job with the same qualifications should be getting paid the same amount.

    Within our society we have seen a growing divide among people on many different ideas. To this day we’re still discussing which sports people should play, how much money people are receiving for certain jobs, and how people of color/different gender are getting in trouble for things that other people are also doing. The injustice is unfair to all these people and we should not be put in a place where people are punished just because of their gender. 

    The pay gap between men and women has been a problem for years. This is a problem that has recently come back to light during all sorts of sports debates. Sports like basketball are heavily divided by gender, with the NBA getting way more attention from media and advertisements, ultimately earning the players more money. In February of 2022, a WNBA player, Britney Griener, was detained in Russia for having vape cartridges in her luggage. When the news broke, it began to shine a light on the inequity between gender standards in the sport. An article written by Laurel Wamsley, a writer for Houston Public Media, wrote about how this issue is a national problem and raises the idea of unequal pay between genders. The article states how the head of the WNBA players union Nneka Ogwumike shared that she  had to go to Russia in the first place because she needed supplemental income due to the gender wage gap in the sport.Nneka Ogwumike is going across seas to play in different countries to try and make even a fraction of what a male NBA player makes in the states. The average NBA player makes upwards of $5 million dollars, whereas a WNBA player makes just $120,000. This is just one example of the unequal pay between men’s  and women’s sports. As a country that is said to value sports so much, there should be equal opportunities and coverage of both gender sports.

    A sport that has received a lot of coverage is women’s soccer. Most notably,  soccer is one of the most televised and broadcasted women’s sports in the United States. Having gone to the Olympics and won multiple world cups, people have been drawn to US women’s soccer more than US men’s soccer. Over the years, women’s soccer has faced the same problem of a gender wage gap. Their male counterparts are getting paid way more for playing the same sport and in this case, the men are getting watched less than women.  Even though the sport is more popular, the women are still not getting the same treatment compared to men. The US Women’s Soccer Players Association has noticed this unfair economic problem and started a six-year-long battle to fight for the equality that they deserve. 

    In February of 2022, the US Women’s Soccer Players Association got their  long-awaited justice. They have been fighting with the soccer governing body about how they are discriminated against and deserve equal pay. The disparity in pay has stayed relevant for years until the association recently won the settlement where the soccer’s governing body had to pay $24 million to equal out what the men soccer players make, including bonuses. While the sports industry has taken a step toward showing equality between the two genders, this is only an inch toward the change that needs to be made for equality in sports. 

    Sports are just one example of how men and women are treated unequally across our nation. Whether the player is actively participating in the sport of their choosing, or a part of the media coverage teams, the men are constantly overruling females. As our world grows to adapt by allowing non-binary individuals to compete in the categories of their choosing, there needs to be more recognition around the inequality of pay that people of female identifying gender are facing. 


Emma Graham

U Maine '23

A third-year communication major passionate about sharing advice about all things college.
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