Why We Need to Level the Playing Field for Girls

Hogshead-Makar headshot 2016.1Generation W speaker and founder/CEO of the nonprofit Champion Women Nancy Hogshead-Makar (who also happens to be a three-time Olympic gold medal swimmer!) recently spoke to the Clay County Bar Association regarding the Title IX law. “We’ve had a long time with the statute and we’re still pretty far away from gender equity,” said Hogshead-Makar.  In a recent Times-Union article, Hogshead-Makar talked about the overall life benefits student athletes receive, and when girls do not get the same access or opportunity to participate in sports as boys, it isn’t just their athletic spirit we may be crushing.

“When we talk about sports, I often say that the least important thing that I got out of my swimming career was those three gold medals. Because of those three gold medals, I’ve gotten to do a lot of things but the most important thing that I got out of it was that I did it,” she said. “So, a lot of times what Champion Women does is we explain to judges why a sports experience is in fact an educational experience and why that’s important.”  According to the article, participating in team sports has a lifelong positive influence on women regarding education, work and health potential and recent research shows that in states where boys are getting more educational opportunities in terms of sports, we are seeing the “biggest differences in employment and higher education, etc.,” said Hogshead-Makar.

Champion Women is currently involved in writing letters to colleges and universities throughout the U.S., detailing, from a legal perspective, why they must add opportunities for women. She cited the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as an example.  “They are way out of compliance.  Every single year, you’re going to see Chapel Hill is shorting women $4 million in college scholarship dollars.”

Click here to read the entire Times-Union article.