By now, everyone has heard about the US Women's National Soccer Team (USWNT)--their 2nd consecutive World Cup win was thrilling and exciting, inspiring young women and girls to keep practicing!
But I suspect everyone has also heard about their suit against the US Soccer Federation for equal pay. March 2019 is actually the FOURTH time that the USWNT has sued for equal pay: the other 3 times were 1999, 2009, and 2016. And actually, in 1999, they also sued for fair treatment as part of a maternity leave policy: only 20 years ago, players were not allowed to return to work following the birth of a baby. The Washington Post described giving birth as a "career-ending injury"!
On average, the pay gap in 2019 for women in the US is about 79%*--we are paid on average 79 cents for each dollar an average man earns. The pay gap for the women on the USWNT is much worse: their pay for winning an exhibition game during the year is 8%--only 8 cents per dollar that the men earn! (If they LOSE that exhibition game, the pay gap is even lower: $0!) For winning the World Cup, the gap is still huge: the women earn 21 cents on the men's dollar.
We on the MDWA Legislative committee appreciate the spotlight that the USWNT has shone on the severe pay gap that women still face. For those that believe that the Equal Rights Amendment isn't needed because women are already equal and don't need any protections under the Constitution, the USWNT is proving just the opposite!
*based on an online salary survey of 1.8 million people--see www.payscale.com