The Challenges of Women in Sports

The Challenges ofWomen in Sports

The Challenges of Women in Sports focuses on women pursuing a career in the sports business rather than people not being as interested in watching women’s sports compared to men’s.

In April, I traveled to NYC for the annual Jordan Brand Classic All-American game, that weekend also happened to be the first session of Nike EYBL (an AAU grassroots tournament). With my camera in hand, I prepared myself for an exciting weekend filled with basketball, including watching CIA Bounce, the only Canadian team there play.

The JBC was great but I had no idea what to expect at the Nike EYBL. Held at the Brooklyn Cruise terminal, I arrived to the EYBL Saturday evening surprised to see the courts were filled with NCAA D1 Coaches and their staff watching the next group of young talent play. In attendance were: John Calipari, Roy Williams, Jim Boeheim, Larry Brown, Kevin Ollie, and recent champ Jay Wright. As I walked around from court to court watching different games, I noticed most women there were supporting a player/coach for a team.

My Observations

  • There weren’t many women taking videos or pictures, I must have seen two or three throughout the weekend.
  • There were NO women on any of the team’s assisting with recruiting.
  • There were no women analyzing players for a write up on recruiting/scouting sites.

This made me realize how challenging it is for us women to break into the sports industry behind the scenes.

I reached out to my friend and business owner of Twelve & Co, Adjoa, to ask her opinion on some of the challenges women face trying to break into the sports business:

The biggest challenge for women pursuing the business side of sports is that we are often overlooked and under paid. Sad but true. In a male dominant industry like sports you have to really know your stuff or else you won’t get taken seriously. As a woman, you need to know what your strengths are and what you bring to the table in every situation you approach.

Some personal challenges + stereotypes I’ve noticed:

  • Unless you start the conversation about sports, you’re just there to look pretty.
  • You’ve got to tone it down if you want to be taken seriously.
  • You’re at a game to watch your boyfriend or family member, not because you genuinely like the sport.
  • If you don’t have a camera or pass, you’re just another spectator.
  • If she must work in sports, put her in front of the camera.

Women who’ve played sports competitively have the ability to scout talent, market + manage players, and close deals just as well as the men do. On top of that we’re able to relate to the athletes.

Although I’m glad to see the rise of women in broadcasting, I’d like to see us women in sports rising on the business side as well!

Here are some photos I took at the Nike EYBL with my Nikon D50 and Nikon 70-200mm lens.


*Featured Image Source: MSU Today*

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