The WNBA’s New Deal Will Close the Wage Gap with a Labor Deal Salary Increase

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The Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) and the Women’s National Basketball Players Association finalized a labor deal on Tuesday that will boost the average league salary. Salaries are expected to jump to above six figures for the first time for the professional athletes. This pay increase will close the wage gap between women and men in the same profession for professional sports. The league and its players’ union have agreed in after bargaining and has agreed they would almost double the maximum salary as well as provide paid maternity leave. The contract creates a work life balance for the players. The commissioner, Cathy Engelbert, called the contract “a big bet on women.”

According to the New York Times, “The proposed W.N.B.A. contract, which still must be approved by the league’s board of governors and the union’s membership, would enable top players to earn more than $500,000, about triple last season’s ceiling and far more than had ever seemed possible since the league’s first season in 1997.” It has always been a stigma that the men league is more popular than the woman league. Due to this they have been overlooked during history of the league and have had to page a way for themselves in most departments. Low salaries and maternity benefits has been a big discussion for female athletes, which is not a problem for male athletes. “What we have here is a multidimensional pay structure as well as benefit structure,” Engelbert said in a phone interview. “We’ve really gone all out here. We’re making a big bet on this league, a big bet on women, and that in professional sports, that the W.N.B.A. can lead the way.”

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