From the Department of One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: In the 1970s, over 90 percent of the collegiate women’s teams were coached by women, but now just over 40 percent of women’s teams are headed by female coaches (and only 17.7 percent of women’s and men’s teams combined).

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A post at the AAUW Dialog blog noted:

…Title IX has made an enormous positive difference in women’s sports: two years before the enactment of Title IX in 1970, there were only 2.5 women’s teams per school, but as of 2006, there are 8.45 teams per school. However, unsurprisingly, there are still more men’s sports teams than women’s at institutions nationwide.

I was surprised to learn about the low percentage of female coaches. In the 1970s, over 90 percent of the women’s teams were coached by women, but now just over 40 percent of women’s teams are headed by female coaches (and only 17.7 percent of women’s and men’s teams combined). In 1972, more than 90 percent of women’s programs were administrated by a female athletic director, but today only 18.6 percent of athletic directors of women’s programs are women. This strikes me as ironic, since there must be a large pool of qualified former women college athletes to choose from, thanks to Title IX.

I ran cross country at college, and the coaches of the women’s and men’s teams were men. The women’s coach was new, and now I wonder if my university even tried to find a woman to coach the team.

While some of the statistics Kristen shared were disappointing, I think all of us at the luncheon were glad to see that there are smart, passionate lawyers like her fighting to break down barriers on campus for both female students and coaches. …

Via Alpha Females, which points the reader to this ESPN op-ed article, which observes:

There are women flying combat missions, running Fortune 500 companies and performing surgeries in hospitals across the country. There is a woman waiting to be confirmed as Secretary of State, months after narrowly missing out on her party’s nomination for president.

There are no female head coaches in men’s college basketball.

God forbid a woman tells an 18-year-old guy he should have gone over a pick instead of under it.

There are nine men coaching women’s basketball teams in the Big East. Among the 73 women’s programs competing in the ACC, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Pac-10 and SEC, there are 22 male head coaches. And even that split is a step up from a sport like women’s soccer (more than half the coaches in those conferences are men) or softball (male coaches abound, and varsity college softball is contested only by women).

That’s not to demean the contributions of thousands of male coaches who have helped strengthen women’s sports (or as the pot to the kettle, the male writers who cover them). The point here is not to suggest a regressive ethos that segregates the sidelines based on the gender of the competitors.

The point is how can anyone possibly suggest it’s fair that a man hoping to coach Division I college basketball has more than 600 potential jobs to chase but a woman has half as many opportunities — and has to compete against twice as many people for them?

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