Women in Sports: A Closer Look

By Kylie Richardson

The sports industry. And, no, I’m not referring to women playing sports (though they are iconic!) I mean behind the scenes; the women you don’t see in front of the big screen. 

The sports industry itself is continuing to grow every day with more opportunities for people to get their foot in the door in sports. As of 2022, the sports industry has generated over 480 million dollars in revenue and is projected to reach approximately 630 billion dollars in revenue by 2027. While the sports industry gains more traction and creates career paths for workers and athletes across the world, there is an evident majority that dominates the business’ demographics: gender. 10-20% of the industry is made of women while the other 80-90% are men. Now this statistic isn’t meant to bash the industry for a small number of women in it; it’s to shed light on how even the small number of women present in this thriving career field contribute to its success and why it’s important to normalize women in areas of work that mostly men control instead of creating a toxic, non-inclusive working atmosphere for women.

In the sports industry, many women are required to put in exceptionally more effort than the average male in the same field. According to McKinsey & Company’s article on The Business of Sports and the Quest for Inclusion for Women, “Women in sports administration face negative effects from engaging in workplaces dominated by men; they lack support for advancement; and in leadership roles, they work harder than their male peers to support their employees’ emotional wellbeing.” While the realm of work is a competitive environment, American society has progressed where women in the workplace of any kind is a normalized activity. Institutions should work on developing women rather than pushing them to the side. An inclusive environment paves the way for a successful industry where both men and women are recognized in the workplace, regardless of gender ratios. Qualified women in sports defy gender AND social norms, demonstrate equality in male-dominated fields, all while operating as significant leaders and position-holders. 

In McKinsey & Company’s article and statistical analysis, Exhibit 2 shows that women in leadership positions in the sports business put in significantly more effort to support their teams compared to the men in similar roles. And, although that’s true, only 40% of women surveyed agreed their organizations are fair in regards to all employees receiving equitable treatment and equal opportunities to succeed and thrive. 

Women in positions of leadership are known to truly empathize, put people first, and put more effort into mentoring their coworkers compared to male counterparts. Female leaders are more inclined to invoke a sense of purpose within themselves, their peers, and organization they work under. One of the aspects of female leadership stems from the company itself: equity and inclusion. If women are working in an environment where they’re not subject to different treatment on the basis of gender, companies are more likely to thrive. This applies to women in the sports industry as well considering how little women there are in the field as well as how little representation there is for women in this male-dominated career. Regardless, women continue to make differences every single day both in and out of the workplace. It’s essential to create competitive yet inclusive atmospheres for anyone in the workplace regardless of gender, race, religion, etc. Even with the little women in sports, they do make a difference anand contribute to the success of the sports industry.


Hi!! My name is Kylie and I’ve been a magazine/blog writer for WIP for over a year. I am currently a high school student in the Law and Public Service Program at my school where I discovered my passion for politics and social involvement. I have found a love for writing and I aspire to explore a career in politics and law, especially social justice including equality and environmental advocacy, thus driving me to apply for a position at the empowering organization that is Women In Politics.

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