What does a coffee service have to do with soccer?

Are you already looking forward to the 2019 World Cup? No, we didn’t mistype the date, but mean next year’s Women’s World Cup in France. Don’t worry if you haven’t heard of it yet. Because women’s soccer gets much less attention than men’s soccer. This is also reflected in the salaries and bonuses that female soccer players receive.

While the soccer players of the DFB team were promised 350,000 euros per capita for winning the World Cup, the German women’s team in 2015 only received 50,000 euros. Which means nothing other than that women get one-seventh the premium of men. After all, the ladies are now in a better position than they were after the 1989 European Championship, when coffee sets were given as prizes to the winners. But salaries also differ significantly in men’s and women’s soccer. While the men in the national team receive annual salaries in the millions, many professional female soccer players earn less than €1000 a month on average and have to build up a second livelihood in addition to soccer.

There is an understandable cause for the gender pay gap in soccer. Women’s soccer receives much less viewer attention. This is also associated with lower revenues from advertising, ticket sales and sponsorship contracts. Inevitably, therefore, parallels can be drawn with the economy, where women still receive around 21% (unadjusted gender pay gap) less pay than men. Here, too, the reasons initially sound logical and, at first glance, have little in common with discrimination on the basis of gender. The large pay gap is due in part to the fact that women more often work part-time and in lower-paying industries, have to take breaks from their jobs to care for children, and are less likely to hold management positions. However, even if these structural factors are factored out and women’s and men’s salaries in comparable positions are considered, there is still a wage gap of 6% (adjusted gender pay gap)1).

The majority of women are still employed in the lower-paid so-called “women’s jobs” such as nursing and childcare. At the same time, women are underrepresented in the STEM sector, where there are good salaries. While the overall gender distribution of first-year students is nearly 50/50, women are significantly outnumbered in It and engineering subjects at 24%2).

Whether structural or not, discrimination against women occurs at all levels. Not only that women, as already mentioned, are a minority among executives (the share of women among the executive boards of German listed companies is 7.3 percent)3). Female managers, for example, also earn around €900 less than their male colleagues at the same hierarchical levels4).

But fortunately, the situation for women in both business and soccer is evolving, albeit slowly, for the better. In 1955, women were still forbidden to play soccer. The reasoning: “In the struggle for the ball, feminine grace disappears, body and soul inevitably suffer damage, and the display violates decorum and propriety.”

Nowadays, Germany has the first female referee in men’s soccer – Bibiana Steinhaus, and the Secretary General of FIFA also became a woman for the first time in 2016 – Senegalese Fatma Samoura.

The tide also seems to have finally turned in the economy. After all, the number of female board members has increased slightly compared to 2016, and the number of women in technical professions has also been growing for years. These are small steps, but at least they indicate that we are on the right track.

Do you also feel you are underpaid in your job? Contact us and ask for a salary check. Our consultants will be happy to help you determine your market value. Send us your resume at info@mint-solutions.de or call us to do so:

Our contact persons in Munich: 089 / 2000 374 – 0

Our contact persons in Cologne: 0221 / 46 68 91 – 0


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