Study Finds Many Women Colleges Coaches Believe They Face Discrimination in the Workplace

WSFA new report released by the Women’s Sports Foundation finds that women are the head coaches of 23 percent of all teams in college sports. Perhaps the most shocking statistic in the report is that in 1971, 90 percent of all women’s teams in college sports had a woman as head coach. Today, only 43 percent of women’s teams have a woman as the head coach.

As survey of women coaches found that the vast majority of female coaches agreed that it’s easier for men to get top-level jobs (80%), negotiate salary increases (91%), be promoted (70%) and secure multi-year contracts (67%). The survey also found that many female coaches expressed fear of unfair treatment, retaliation and loss of their jobs if they express Title IX concerns to athletic department leaders or university administrators. More than 40 percent of women coaches felt they had been discriminated against because of their gender.

Deborah Slaner Larkin, CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, states that the foundation “urges policymakers and administrators to take steps to foster nondiscriminatory work environments for female and male coaches in intercollegiate women’s sports. Institutions of higher education should require administrators to ensure equal opportunity, fair compensation, job security and access to jobs, professional advancement, resources and decision-making regardless of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race and ethnicity or disability.”

Slaner Larkin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon and an MBA in marketing from the University of Maryland.

The report, Beyond X’s & O’s: Gender Bias and Coaches of Women’s College Sports, may be downloaded here.

Filed Under: Research/StudyTitle IX

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