Need Some Equal Pay Inspiration? Look to the U.S. Women's Hockey Team

The reality is, the gender pay gap still exists. While it's lessening (women in 2015 earned 83% of what men earned), getting men and women onto an equal financial field is still a fight. It's a fight that the U.S. women's national hockey team fought and won.


Earlier this month the team said they would not play in the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship games unless they were paid fairly. Team captain Meghan Duggan said, "We are asking for a living wage and for USA Hockey to fully support its programs for women and girls and stop treating us like an afterthought."

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The issues were clear: During years that weren't Olympics years the women received very little pay via training stipends. They also had to share rooms when they traveled for games (the men's team did not). Additionally, in the six-month lead up to the Olympics each female player made $6,000; the men made far more.


The good news? Their boycott worked, it took a while, but it worked. Their payment substantially increased, they will now also be eligible for performance bonuses if they medal, and (perhaps best of all) they get the same travel accommodations and insurance coverage as the men.

"It's bigger than hockey," Duggan had told the Huffington Post about their boycott. "It's bigger than any one sport or individual. It's about equitable support for females in this country. This is a difficult thing for us, but we're united and proud and happy to do it."

The moral of this story: fight for the pay you deserve. And if you're a team, working together can help you all get what you want.