Power 5 schools employ just 4 female athletic directors
Penn State AD Anne Saunders "Sandy" Barbour. Photo: Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images
65 colleges make up the Power 5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC), and only 4 of those schools have female athletic directors, per the New York Times.
Why it matters: 47 years after Congress passed Title IX, women make up nearly half of all college athletes. But the fact that just 4 have been put in charge of Power 5 schools is a stark reminder of the disparity that still exists.
- Sandy Barbour, Penn State
- Jennifer Cohen, Washington
- Heather Lyke, Pittsburgh
- Carla Williams, Virginia
"The Power 5 level is the most male dominated part of college athletics because of the money and because of big-time football and basketball, which have traditionally been sort of the male, boys' club things. It's much harder for women to break into these roles because of that."— Patti Phillips, CEO of Women Leaders in College Sports, per NYT
The big picture: Despite their lack of representation at the top of the college sports pyramid, women are increasingly filling roles outside the Power 5 — and there is a growing sense that a cultural shift is underway.
- By the numbers: 68 women were hired as athletic directors or conference commissioners across all of college sports in 2018, up from just 19 in 2002.
Go deeper: There's still a pay gap for female athletes