The WNBA has been having a stellar year. Their 2018 ratings have come in as its most-watched season in four years. They’ve participated in tons of activism such as their “Take a Seat, Take a Stand” program, which donates a portion of WNBA ticket proceeds to nonprofit organizations committed to women and girl’s empowerment. All of this could potentially be attributed to the people who are in charge.
The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), at the University of Central Florida, reports that the league received a combined grade of an A+ for race and gender in this year’s WNBA Racial and Gender Report Card. According to ESPN, with a combined score of a 97.6 for racial and gender hiring practices, it was the highest grade ever recorded in the 30 years they’ve been publishing report cards. This level of diversity and inclusion has shown that the league is truly committed to an inclusive workforce.
“It’s not by happenstance that the WNBA is the most socially conscious league, and that WNBA players continue to advocate for the key social issues of our time,” said Delise S. OMeally, the executive director of the Institute for Sport and Social Justice. “Strong leadership and a commitment to diversity and inclusion create an environment where people feel valued, respected and supported.”
Here are some of the examples of the results of the league’s 2018 report card:
- There were six women and three African-American general managers, the same as in 2017.
- 48.6 percent of team vice presidents and above positions were women.
- There were six women who were CEO/presidents, an increase of one form 2017. This tied the highest number, originally achieved in 2010. There were four people of color who held these positions in 2018, which was an increase from three in 2017. This also tied the all-time high achieved in 2015.
- Fourteen women and 11 people of color held ownership positions on WNBA franchises in 2018. This represented an increase of three people in the number of women and an increase of two persons of color from 2017. Most owners were limited partners.
Read more on ESPN‘s analysis piece here.