US Soccer's Historic Equal Pay Deal Takes on Gender Pay Gap

Author: David B. Weisenfeld

May 20, 2022

The US Women's National Soccer Team has achieved equal pay with their male counterparts as the result of new collective bargaining agreements (CBAs), it was announced this week.

These first-of-their-kind CBAs not only guarantee equal pay between the teams but also ensure there will be a 50-50 split of other income, including prize money, appearance fees, World Cup bonuses and broadcast, partner and sponsorship revenue.

The deal runs through 2028 and comes on the heels of a $24 million settlement earlier this year to resolve claims by US women's soccer players that they were victimized by years of wage discrimination by US Soccer, the nonprofit organization that governs the sport in America.

A member of the US women's soccer bargaining team, Midge Purce, spoke of the CBAs "setting a new value for women in the workforce" and hoped the ripple effects go well beyond soccer. As part of the deal, the players also will receive enhanced benefits for:

  • Parental leave;
  • Child care; and
  • Short-term disability providing them with partial income replacement for physical or mental health impairments.

Recently released data from the US Census Bureau showed that the gender pay gap in the workforce still exists to a large degree. The data highlighted the ongoing challenge to eliminate pay inequity between women and men in a number of occupations.

Employers can help eliminate gender pay gaps by conducting a pay equity review and carefully reviewing their policies and practices to eliminate biases and roadblocks that hinder women from advancing into the higher ranks of management.