In 2006, Wimbledon was the only major tennis championship that didn’t have equal prize money for its champions. Tessa Jowell, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media, and Sport, advocated for equal pay. She stated, “We are long past the time where it’s acceptable for there to be discrimination between the rewards for men and women. Men and women should compete on equal terms and be rewarded on equal terms whether it be on the tennis court, the shop floor, in the office, running track or anywhere else.”
After 39 long years, Wimbledon finally declared equal pay in prize money for the men’s and women’s champions in 2007. This happened due to increased pressures from women players like Venus Williams and Maria Sharapova. The reality is, the gap in prize money has become more of a symbolic meaning. After continuous pressure for equality in women’s tennis, Wimbledon finally took a definitive step in going all the way to allow equal payment in prize money for both its men and women champions.
Women have the power to pressure for change–gender equality should be the rule, rather than the exception. It is interesting that you see gender equality at the poker table. It is a male-dominated sport for sure, but the cards do not discriminate and pay-day is the same no matter who wins.
When will corporate America deal everyone an equal hand and level the “paying” field?