The Underrepresentation of Women in the Male-Dominated Sport Workplace: Perspectives of Female Coaches

Walker, Nefertiti A.; Bopp, Trevor
January 2010
Journal of Workplace Rights;2010, Vol. 15 Issue 1, p47
Academic Journal
Previous literature has researched the underrepresentation of women as coaches and in other leadership positions in women's sports. This article adds to the literature by examining the nearly nonexistent role of women in the male-dominated workplace of men's sports. Currently, women represent 42.6% of the head coaches in women's sports while men represent 57.4% of the head coaches in women's sports. In contrast, women represent less than 3% of the head coaches in men's sports. This creates a double standard in which men are afforded greater coaching opportunities in both men's and women's sports. Conversely, coaching opportunities for women are limited in women's sports and are mostly absent in men's sports. Through in-depth, semistructured interviews, we explored how and why this phenomenon (i.e., the lack of women coaching in men's college basketball) is occurring. The results suggest that the perception of gendered opportunities, male-exclusive social networks, and pressures to overcompensate for being female were all strong, negative influences on the perceived opportunity of women to sustain and pursue careers in male-dominated workplaces such as that of men's college basketball.


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