What Is The Single Job That Has Always Been 100% Dominated By Men?
Look at the NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB, what’s missing? Female head coaches, assistant coaches and even assistants to the assistant coaches… Not a single one. Ever. Why? Well, the very amendment that was passed in 1972 to give women athletes the equality that they lacked in a male dominated profession has also had the inadvertent side-effect of preventing women coaches from excelling. Interesting, huh? It’s called Title 9 and here’s what it says:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…
But what do those female athletes do once their playing careers have ended? Why can’t they coach just like their male counterparts if equality has truly been established? At the time the amendment was passed, women coached the vast majority of women’s teams but the amendment did it’s job well, too well. As people started to view women’s sports as valid contenders, coaching salaries rose too and that opened up another avenue for men to go too, and where competition wasn’t quite as fierce for the coveted head-coaching jobs. And if this is the story at the college level, it’s even more true at the pro level. So while the ‘playing field’ has been leveled for current female athletes, there is still a long way to go for retiring players whose careers for most pro sports end in their late twenties/early thirties.
We have many female leagues of formerly male-exclusive sports, but if women were able to compete at the MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL pro level, we just might begin to see a change in coaching as well. If Col. Jeannie Flynn Leavitt can deftly fly a multi-million dollar F-15 Strike Eagle (highly physical) in combat and rise to command an entire 5,000 person fighter wing, then why can’t women mix it up on the ball-field with the guys too much less coach at our highest levels? Here’s what the higly decorated Colonel has to say, simple and succinct:
“Gender, race religion, none of that matters… what matters is how you perform.”