I recently listened to an interview on CBC’s Metro Morning with Brenda Andress, the Commissioner of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, in which she talked about how the female hockey players on the Olympic roster do not get paid anything for their skill, while the men’s Olympic roster makes a salary of over $150, 000 000. Her recommendation was to support women’s hockey by coming out to their games; the more support they get, the more tickets they sell, the more revenue that comes in to offer salaries and the potential for a professional hockey career. Visit their site for more information. After listening to the interview, on the heels of all the excitement, inspiration and pride from the Sochi winter Olympics, I was asking myself why we are facing such disparities. Is it just that women’s hockey is not promoted enough, that it’s not an inveterate part of Canadian hockey culture? If so, why is that? Or, do people genuinely feel that women’s hockey is objectively not as appealing as men’s? If the latter is the case, is this sentiment truly objective or as a result of more deeply ingrained biases towards women’s and men’s roles in the athletic arena (and beyond)?
How can we change, shift and shape the societal psyche towards women’s hockey and sport in general, such that we create an inherent culture of more enthusiasm, support and equity for all involved? Comments/thoughts welcome.