in brief: women cricketers get pay rise but gender gap remains
Cricket Australia has announced a significant restructuring of their contracting system that will result in a sharp pay increase for female International and State players.
Top-tiered female athletes will be paid a maximum of $52,000 which is more than double the current figure of $15,000. As a minimum, players will receive a $25,000 retainer, up from $5,000. Daily tour pay has also jumped from $100 to $250. The changes will come into place in the next 12 months.
While this is a huge jump, female cricketers are still paid less than their male counterparts. Cricket Australia encourages their female athletes to keep working and/or studying and use the retainer to supplement when they need to take time from work to train and play. Conversely, according to News Limited, a top-ranked male player receives upwards of a million dollars a year, much more than necessary to meet living expenses.
As highlighted on Women’s Agenda, very few female sports professionals can earn a living from sport. Sally Pearson, who won gold at the London Olympics, lost sponsors less than six months after the games. Netballer Liz Ellis worked as a lawyer for the first four years of her sporting career, balancing a full-time workload with training and playing commitments.
Currently, Australian netballers are in negotiations to secure a better pay deal for their efforts. National squad members are paid $200 daily when on duty and the ANPA is arguing for the amount to be doubled. NA is offering a 50 per cent increase and 100 per cent within three years.
In April, Adelaide Now published estimates for the earnings of professional sportspeople in Australia. The results are confronting, but sadly not surprising. Cricket Australia has stepped in the right direction by increasing the pay for female cricketers but it is evident that women across the board struggle to achieve the recognition and remuneration to earn a living from sport.