Women’s sports is one of the areas of our society that is still behind the times in gender equality, but it really isn’t because of the fans. Many people think that men still dominate that sports fanbase, but this just isn’t true. Although men have a 3% lead over women, 49% of the sports fan base is actually women. Sixty percent of all people are interested in at least one women’s sport and 84% of sports fans are interested in women’s sports.
Viewership of sports grew by big numbers in 2020. Overall, viewership was up 300% at 653,000, and women aged 18-34 increased MLB viewership by 83%. Interestingly, the Olympic Channel found that 56% of engagement comes from women and viewership of women’s content is 16% higher than men’s. This is a far cry from the narrative we’ve always heard about the sports fanbase, yet only half of sports governing bodies have a boardroom of at least 25% women.
From wage, scholarship, and expenditure gaps, to huge disparities in media coverage and in brand sponsorships, women’s sports is seriously behind the times in gender equality. It’s time for women’s sports to step up their game.