Gender Disparity in Sport

by Mon Agoston October 15, 2021

 

Gender disparity in sport 

Wow, this is not a small topic...but as a female-owned sportswear brand, we cannot help but think how much disparity in sport is out there. We still don't know more than a handful of female-owned cycling brand in the UK so the recent Paris-Roubaix Femmes (which was won by a Brit and wowed not only women but by men cycling fans too) and the Women’s Tour has got us thinking; not only about cycling or businesses but generally about many sports. Why are we in a situation where there is such a difference in some sports between not only the pay and prize money, but the opportunities, respect, resources and recognition given to men and women. It’s 2021 - things need to change, and fast!  

This is such a wide and complicated issue that when trying to understand where we are and how we’ve got here is not an easy undertaking, and that’s before you start to consider how we move forward. We, as a brand, are about empowerment, joy and being able to participate in and enjoy sport whoever you are and whatever your circumstances. That said, it’s clear and frustrating that (generally speaking) women to not have equal opportunities, exposure and pay as men. We’re delving into why that is, and more importantly, how that can help us understand how to be powers for change. 

Why is it like this?

Sports that are old and steeped in traditionalism of male dominance, such as running and cycling, often display the greatest disparity. An argument often given by race directors, is that essentially women’s sport doesn’t earn its keep. The truth is, it doesn’t get the same audience as the men’s racing, simply because it’s not broadcasted (or not broadcasted the same way; i.e. a lot shorter highlights or no broadcast at all). Clearly this is a really solvable issue - allow people to see it and people will watch it. The fact is, there is a lack of advertising and endorsement of some women’s sports, even though the interest in it is huge.

 

These sports (cycling is a good example) often have men in roles of leadership which get passed down from man to man, and the ‘it’s always been this way’ mantra becomes all too easy to follow. Compare these sports with more modern ones, such as Cyclocross, Mountain biking or triathlon – there are just not the same issues. For example, triathlon sees men and women race over the same distances, with equal coverage and equal prize money. Why? Because people want to watch both – it’s lucrative. The sooner race directors realise that they’re actually loosing out in the long run by not offering the opportunities for women’s racing, the better. A little investment would definitely pay off!

Another argument which really holds no weight in that women can’t race the same way - they just don't have the same endurance or power. It is true that naturally men are stronger but as races elongate, the gap between male and female finishing times narrows significantly - some excellent examples of this in ultra running events. The mindset that women simply can’t ‘manage’ what men can just isn’t true - this needs calling out and challenging where it still exists; just because men are physically (as a natural, born-given thing so that is not much any woman can do to change that) stronger, doesn't mean women don't train as hard, as much and make the same, often a lot more, sacrifices for the sport they love.

So, how can we move forward…

  • Watch women’s sport -  make sure you are boosting the broadcast figures by tuning in. 
  • Get involved on social media - post about events, share stories about them, and engage with inspiring female athletes.
  • Demand investment in women’s sports - it’s not acceptable to use the argument that women’s sport isn’t lucrative enough. Essentially this perpetuates a vicious circle. If you don’t invest, then women’s sport doesn’t get the exposure and coverage which gives the demand. So, we need to demand it as the consumer – call it out when it doesn’t happen and put pressure on the race directors and media to host the races and give them the coverage they deserve.
  • Call out the teams that don’t invest in women’s sport - for example, putting a ban on world tour teams that don’t have a women’s team would soon see investment. How is it right that the World Tour team with the largest budget isn’t investing in the women’s side of the sport? In the same way, call out sports, race directors that aren’t offering equal opportunities and prize money for men and women. Likewise, support teams that are investing well in women.
  • Encourage other women and girls to participate in sports - let’s be role models and help change the gender stereotypes that exist around some sports and events.
  • There is clearly power in numbers  - so get behind other established groups that are already campaigning for change - and it is happening! The ASO have announced a Tour de France for women and women all around the world is still eagerly waiting to see this will go ahead and happen in 2022. This is a really positive step for change, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen a women’s tour de France be established, just to disappear very quickly. Let’s keep the pressure on and help it grow incrementally rather then it being just a token gesture, all too soon to be forgotten. 2020 also saw the UCI implement a base salary for female professional cyclists on world tour teams. This is another really great step forward, allowing female cyclists to afford to focus solely on competing at the top level. 

Clearly we’ve just scratched the surface of this issue, and have rather focused on cycling - we could have written hundred of blogs about this topic - so here are some other accounts to follow to help stay aware of both the situation and progress that’s being made.

  1. The Cyclists's Alliance (@thecyclistsalliance) - striving for fairness in cycling. International independent union for female cyclists.
  2. InternationElles (@internationelles) - a team of female cyclists united in the fight for equality to boost women’s cycling.
  3. Women in Sport (@womeninsport_uk) - their purpose is to give every woman and girl the opportunity to take part in sport and inspire her to do so. The UK's leading charity.
  4. Glorious (@glorioussport) - Elevating women's sport through the lens of art and culture. 

Has the tour inspired you to get out on your bike more? Has it made you think of how you can help? 

 You can read all our other blogs here - Home | Egos Are So Yesterday






Mon Agoston
Mon Agoston

Author



Sizing charts

These guides relate to body measurements and not garment measurements. Take your chest, waist and hip measurements. The size bracket you fall into is likely to give you the best fit.

That said, we all know that fit is a very personal thing, so a few things to bear in mind…

We give you realistic sizing by us wearing the kit with our measurements so you can ensure you get the right size. If you are still unsure, please do get in touch. We are very happy to help and it avoids unnecessary returns.

VIBE & GLOW SS Jersey Size Chart

Size

Chest

Waist

Hip

S

76 – 83

68 – 72

85 - 90

M

83 – 92

72 – 76

90 - 95

L

92 – 99

76 – 80

95 – 100

XL

99 – 106

80 – 84

100 – 105

 

Please note that this jersey comes up small. Mon & Sophie usually wears Small and Medium jerseys but sized up to Medium and Large for comfort. Abby is wearing a medium (her usual size) for a race fit.

 

Mon (on right) – wearing Medium jersey. Chest / Waist = 88/71 (unit in cm)

Sophie (on left) - wearing Large jersey. Chest / Waist =  96.5/83.8 (unit in cm)

Abby (below) - wearing Medium jersey. Chest / Waist  = 92/74 (unit in cm)

 GLOW Women's pro tri-suit

 

Chest (in cm) 

Chest (in inches) 

XS 

76 – 82 

30 -32 

S 

82 - 88 

32 - 35 

M 

88 - 94 

35 - 37 

L 

94 - 100 

37 - 39 

XL 

100 – 106 

39 - 42 

XXL 

106 - 112 

42 - 44 

XXXL 

112 - 118 

44 - 46 

Cloe is wearing a Medium Glow tri-suit

 

VIBE LS Thermal Women's Cycling Jersey

Unit (cm) 

XS 

S 

M 

L 

XL 

CHEST 

72 - 82 

80 - 88 

89 - 98 

95 - 102 

99 - 106 

WAIST 

56 - 66 

65 - 73 

74 - 85 

84 - 96 

95 - 105 

*If you want more than just a base layer underneath your jersey, please go one size up from your usual size. 

Mon is wearing a Small LS thermal jersey. Chest / Waist = 88/71 (unit in cm)

Casual T-Shirts Size Chart

These measurements are give in cm's and are the actual measurements of the T-shirts. If you need larger or small, get in touch - we can help :)

Female

S

M

L

Male

XS

S

M

Width

45

47

50

Width

50

54

58

Front Length

50

53

56

Front Length

60

64

69

Back Length

50

59

62

Back Length

65

70

74

 

Pick & Mix Socks Size Chart

 

UK 

EU 

US 

S - M 

4 - 7 

37 - 41 

5.5 - 8.5 

L - XL 

8 - 11 

42 - 46 

9.5 - 11.5