Last week marked the beginning of the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Whether or not you are a soccer fan, you have probably heard about the U.S. Women’s National Team’s (USWNT) fight for equal pay and equal working conditions throughout the past six years. After an intense legal battle, the USWNT settled its class action equal pay lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation last February for a total of $24 million. The issue of women’s rights and equal pay is relevant in every industry and business sector across the globe.
The high-profile coverage of the USWNT’s fight brought much-needed attention to the topic, and we are now seeing Silicon Valley take notice. Google recently announced changes to the search engine that make it easier for people to find information about women’s sports. According to TechCrunch’s Aisha Malik, Google expanded coverage of women’s competitions in the information boxes at the top of the results page to include 380-plus leagues. Additionally, Google added 110-plus women’s soccer, cricket and rugby leagues over the past year. It’s also working to make live streams and highlights more accessible from the search results page.
Sheryl Sandberg and her husband are investors in Silicon Valley’s new National Women’s Soccer League team, Bay Football Club. At last month’s FC Day for the Bay, Sandberg discussed this new venture. “For all of us, this is much bigger and much more than soccer,” she said. “You may have noticed that men have run the world for a really long time. I don’t think it’s going that well. Women’s sports are critical to creating the path the world needs for change. Girls who play today become women who lead tomorrow.”
PR executives in Silicon Valley and beyond are also getting a hand in the game with companies looking to increase their visibility within the realm of women’s sports. The key is promoting female empowerment without playing into cliches and stereotypes. Budweiser and Frito-Lay are two notable names that have campaigns centered around the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Frito-Lay North America is the “official USA snack” of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the company’s largest-ever investment in women’s sports – it’s about time!
As a female-owned small business, BOCA is a proud supporter of women’s equality and a lover of sports. We appreciate the bold efforts of the USWNT, which has paved the way for future female athletes both at home and around the world. We’ll be watching both the games and the brands that cheer them on throughout the next few weeks. GO USA!