Jul 14, 2019

U.S. Soccer sponsor P&G sides with women's team equal pay fight

Megan Rapinoe #15 of United States holds the 2019 FIFA World Cup Champion Trophy. Photo: Ira L. Black/Corbis via Getty Images

U.S. Soccer partner and sponsor Procter & Gamble donated more than $500,000 to the team's players association, signaling support “to be on the right side of history" on equal pay for all of its athletes, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: P&G's announcement, the first of its kind, could increase pressure on U.S. Soccer to resolve the players' federal gender discrimination lawsuit.

Context: The issue on equal pay was re-highlighted after the U.S. women's national soccer team won the World Cup final last week against the Netherlands. As the women's team celebrated their victory on the field last Sunday, "equal pay" chants erupted among fans.

  • The team filed a wage-discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2016. 28 teammates later sued the federation alleging years of "institutionalized gender discrimination.”
  • On Monday, the team and the federation begin mediation talks, per NYT.

P&G's Secret deodorant brand said in an advertising campaign that its $529,000 donation is symbolic. "Inequality is about more than pay and players. It’s about values," it said.

Yes, but: On NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, U.S. Women's Soccer team co-captain Megan Rapinoe said she was disappointed in how the team's sponsors have been handling the equal pay conversation. She responded to P&G's donation, saying these companies should have been on the forefront of the issue:

“These are some of the most powerful corporations, not just in sports but in the world, and have so much weight that they can throw around. And I think that they just need to get comfortable with throwing it around.”

Rapinoe said she would keep fighting: “I'm going to fight for equal pay every day for myself, for my team, and for every single person out there, man, woman, immigrant, U.S. citizen, person of color, whatever it may be. ‘Equal pay,’ as the great Serena Williams said, ‘Until I'm in my grave.’”

Go deeper: U.S. women's national soccer team generating more game revenue than men since 2015

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U.S. Soccer says women's national team paid more than the men's side

Megan Rapinoe (center) and other members of the World Cup-winning U.S. team at a New York ticker tape parade. Photo: Johannes Eisele/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. Soccer Federation released a letter Monday claiming that it's paid the World Cup champion women’s team more than the men’s national team in recent years — citing figures disputed by the U.S. Women's National Team.

Why it matters: Following the USWNT's 4th World Cup win this month, equal pay in sport has become a hot-button political issue. The letter's release comes ahead of mediation in the U.S. Women's National Team’s pay-equity lawsuit against the governing body, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Go deeperArrowJul 30, 2019

Women are less trusting of self-driving cars

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Women are less enthusiastic than men about the prospect of driverless cars. Until researchers understand why, it will be difficult for autonomous vehicle developers to win their trust.

Why it matters: AVs are supposed to bring fewer traffic deaths and improved access to transportation, but only if people trust them. To deliver on those promises, AV companies need to consider women's concerns about the technology, which could be exacerbated by worries about personal safety and a lack of accountability when there is no driver present.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019

Bernie Sanders campaign faces anonymous unfair labor practice complaint

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks to union retirees and UFCW members on Sunday. Photo: Jeremy Hogan/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

An unnamed individual in Indiana filed an unfair labor practice complaint against Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2020 campaign last week, alleging retaliation against staffers and illegal employee interrogation, Bloomberg reports.

The big picture: Sanders' campaign — which was the first in the 2020 race to unionize — reached a deal with its union on Tuesday to pay field organizers at least $15 an hour. The complaint, which could have been filed by anyone inside or outside the campaign, follows a recent Washington Post report that showed Sanders' field organizers were being paid less than $13 per hour, on average.

Go deeperArrowJul 24, 2019