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Gender Paygap In Sports: What Sports Pay Women Highest Salary ?

The disparity between the two genders and the earning potential is there for all to see even in sports and we breakdown each sport and conclude which sport pay women highest Salary ? Average income of an American woman is 81% of what average American man earns during a year. Obviously numbers change according to profession.

To give you an idea legal professions have the biggest disparity with women earning just 41% of what men make in an year however Arts, Entertainment and Sports industry has kind of bridge the gap with average women in one of these industry making 94% of what men make well at least in America and some of the western European countries.  

The Gender Pay Gap in Different Sports: 

Each federation and competition is responsible for compensating athletes according to their set of standards and below table shows disparity in each sport/competition with men and women game. According to most sports average yearly income of average athlete, women consistently make less money for the pretty much the same competition. However things are changing is some of the main-stream sports and we breakdown each sport and the different in payscale.

SPORTMEN (Average yearly Salary)WOMEN (Average yearly Salary)
Tennis (ATP/WTA)$88,000 $80,000
Cricket$110,000 $25,000
OlympicsSame Same
Football (International)$100,000 $75,000
Football (Club football) $810,730$40,000
Basketball (NBA & WNBA)$8.3 million$75,181
Golf (PGA & LPGA)$1.2 million$48,993
Figure SkatingSameSame
PokerSameSame
Softball/Baseball (MLB & NPF)$4 million$12,000
Cross-Country SkiingSameSame
The above table shows earnings on average an athlete makes. For example ATP/WTA top 100 ranked player makes alot more then top 500 player. So we calculated average earnings by considering ATP/WTA rankings from 250+ ranked player both in men and women. Similarly a top men football make alot of money compared to average football so we too into account on the average footballer’s salary.

Top Female Athletes vs Top Male Athletes:

However if we take a look at what top men’s and women athletes make in a year we can see the difference start to get even bigger with every passing year. Comparing 2010 and 2020, in 10 year highest paid men athlete average earnings from prize money/contract and sponsorship has reach from $30 million (in 2010) to over $100 million a year (2020). While top women athlete are still making the same numbers even after 10 years. Which goes to show the lack of investment in women game by top brands and lack of sponsorship money.

TOP MEN ATHLETE EARNINGSTOP WOMEN ATHLETE EARNIGNS
2010Tiger Woods – $102m
Floyd Mayweather – $75m
Lebron James – $43m
Roger Federer – $38m
Cristiano Ronaldo – $37.7m
Maria Sharapova – $26.8m
Serena Williams – $22.3m
Venus Williams – $16.2m
Danica Patrick – $10.8m
Kim Yu-Na – $10.2m
2020C.Ronaldo -$122m
Cristiano Ronaldo – $107m
Neymar – $85m
Canelo Alvarez – $79m
Lewis Hamilton – $75m
Serena Williams – $29.2m
Naomi Osaka – $25.6m
Angelique Kerber – $10.2m
Simona Halep – $10.2m
Sloane Stephens – $9.6m
David Beckham retired in 2013 but he still makes more overall money from sponsorships then one of the greatest female athlete currently active in Sareena Williams.

Women salaries in Football

If you take into account FIFA World Cup for both men and women you will see that men’s world cup has prize money pool of $450 million while the Women’s world cup has total prize money pool of just $30 million. Which is quite understandable considering Men’s FIFA World Cup is the most watched competition of any sport in the world while Women’s World Cup is growing in stature but is no way near in terms of broadcasting, matchday income and sponsorship money. Which means it is not possible to pay the same prize money for women’s competition.

However in football at international level many countries have installed equal pay scale for both men and women game which is a encouraging sign. These countries include USA, Brazil and some of the western European countries who have confirmed that match fee and central contracts offer to national team players will be be in same payscale for both men and women football.

Women’s salaries in cricket is growing rapidly:

Cricket of all games which is dominated by only a handful of countries has come out of nowhere to put Women’s cricket at a level where it was not expected some years ago. The opening game of Women’s T20 Cricket world cup between India vs Australia was watched by 3.6 million viewers and in total that competition generated over 41 million viewing hours only in India that is 215% more then previous same competition. ICC (cricket’s governing body) offered the same prize money for men and women T20 World cups.

However at grass root level potential average income for women is way less then of men in Cricket. But with women’s cricket gaining popularity we can see the disparity closing to an acceptable level in years to come.

Tennis and Women Salaries:

Tennis has been the first major sport in history to install an equal pay for most of the grand slams where men’s and women’s singles event has the same prize money pool. US Open started the trend back in 1973 while it took best part of 30 years for other grand slams to catch up.

Australian Open installed the equal prize money for men and women game in 2001 while French Open did it in 2006 followed by Wimbledon in 2007.

But in sports situation is getting better every year, Tennis has set the standard over the last few decades where both men and women are paid same amount of prize money in all four grand slams. However other sports are struggling to reach the same level of equal pay standards and today we breakdown all major sports and disparity in potential earnings for both men and women sports.

Which Sports do women get paid the most in ?

Tennis. Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka made over $20 million each in 2020 and 2021. 6 of the top 10 highest paid women athlete are from tennis.

What sports are women paid equally ?

Tennis, Figure Skating, Cross-Country Skiing, Poker and Olympic games are just a few to name where men and women have equal prize money and salary oppertunities.

Written By

Writes about financial aspects of major sports specially the ones in motorsports like Formula 1, MotoGP.

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