With the Rio Olympics underway, the Wall Street Journal has taken an in-depth look at the disparity between male and female competitions at the highest level.
The paper notes that the cycling race for men is roughly 62 miles longer than the women’s, but quotes scientists saying physiologically, women don’t need shorter courses—or tennis matches with fewer sets. In fact, Michael Joyner of the Mayo Clinic tells the WSJ the idea that female athletes have less endurance than men is “totally anachronistic.”
Fair enough. But when it comes to women in sport, what’s more important is the fight over equal pay. The U.S. women’s soccer team is at the forefront of this battle, having recently launched a public campaign on social media urging “Equal Play Equal Pay,” after five of the Olympic and World Cup champion players filed a federal complaint against U.S. Soccer in March.
As the Washington Post notes, female players make $8,216 less than male players when they win an exhibition game. And while the National Women’s Soccer League does not command the ticket sale revenue that Major League Soccer does, the women beat the men when it comes to international revenues. Last year, they surpassed the men by $2 million. This year, the difference is expected to swell to $8.5 million, the Post says.
So while it may make no sense that, as the WSJ notes, female swimmer Katie Ledecky cannot compete in the 1,500-meter swim (where she holds a world record) since only men compete at that distance in Rio, this is one area where what happens in the competition is really the side show. Gender equity is more about what happens in the backroom than on the pitch.
Be sure to check out Fortune‘s new weekly show, Broad Strokes, featuring Kristen Bellstrom, of our sister publication, the Broadsheet, as well as Valentina Zarya. The latest episode discusses sexual harassment, the resignation of Saatchi & Saatchi’s chairman, and Apple’s diversity report.
Also, tune into Fortune’s new podcast, Fortune Unfiltered with Aaron Task, which has GoDaddy CEO Blake Irving today.
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|Coming off the resignation of Saatchi & Saatchi boss Kevin Roberts, who left the company last week after taking heat for saying the debate on gender equality in advertising was “over,” Sarah Gordon of the Financial Times argues that it’s up to governments to get more women onto corporate boards.|
|A political vet|
|Who is Anne Holton, whose husband, Tim Kaine, is Hillary Clinton’s VP pick? The New York Times paints a profile of Holton as a governor’s daughter with an “aversion to idleness” who also just happens to be a family court judge and the former secretary of education of the state of Virginia.|
|New York Times|
|A new role for Ivanka?|
|Asked which women he would put in his cabinet, Donald Trump only mentioned Ivanka, his daughter. In an interview last week, Trump said: “Well, we have so many different ones to choose. I can tell you everybody would say, ‘Put Ivanka in, put Ivanka in,’ you know that right? She’s very popular, she’s done very well, and you know Ivanka very well.”|
|Turning away from ads|
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|In a follow-up story to last week’s news that Yuriko Koike became Tokyo’s first female governor, the Financial Times quotes former Japanese PM Junichiro Koizumi on Koike’s campaign.”The saying used to be ‘a man is courage and a woman is charm,'” said Koizumi. “These days, women have courage, too.” Perhaps it’s a sign that the governor will be able to change the environment for working women in Japan.|
|Aussie sisters get gold|
|A relay team that includes sister swimmers from Down Under has triumphed in Rio. The Australian women’s 4 by 100 meter relay team, made up of Emma McKeon, Brittany Elmslie and two sisters—Cate and Bronte Campbell—surpassed the U.S. team to claim Olympic gold. The American squad, which included the widely-heralded swimmer Katie Ledecky, took the silver.|
|Sydney Morning Herald|
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|—Belgian tennis player Kirsten Flipkens, who defeated Venus Williams in the first-round singles tournament at the Rio Olympics|