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Diversity Report Card: WNBA Earns Top Score

ORLANDO -  According to the 2011 Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) Racial and Gender Report Card released by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES), the WNBA received an A+ for race and an A for gender.


Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News, Women News, Minority News, Discrimination, Diversity, Female, Underrepresented, Equality, Gender Bias, EqualityThe WNBA has consistently been the industry leader for all professional sport when it comes to diversity. The 94.7 points earned for race was the highest total for race in the history of the WNBA.

The WNBA received a combined A+ in the 2009 and 2010 Report Cards. In the 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006‐07, 2008, 2009, 2010 and now the 2011 Racial and Gender Report Cards, the WNBA has received at least A ’s for their race, gender and combined grades.

Richard Lapchick, director of The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) and primary author of the study, said, “WNBA former president Donna Orender and her successor, Laurel J. Richie, have overseen professional sports’ most diverse organization. While there was a decline in the grade for gender hiring, the WNBA still had sport’s best record for gender.”

The report highlights Laurel J. Richie who became the new president of the WNBA this year. She is the first female of color to become president of a professional sports league. Donna Orender stepped down after six successful seasons to launch Orender Unlimited.

It is pointed out that the percentages of women and people of color holding professional level staff positions in the WNBA League Office both increased significantly in 2011. African‐Americans occupied 29 percent of the professional level staff positions in 2011 in the WNBA League Office while whites held 71 percent. People of color increased by 5 percentage points. Women filled 76 percent of the WNBA professional staff positions in 2011, which was a 7 percentage point increase from 2010.

The percentage of African-American players remained at 69 percent in 2011 while white players increased 5 percentage points from 16 percent to 21 percent.

Four women held majority ownership in a WNBA franchise in 2011. That was an increase from three in 2010. An African-American owned investment company (The Williams Group) holds a majority ownership interest in the Sparks. There continued to be no individual people of color who were majority owners during the 2011 season.

For the 2011 season, there were five African- American head coaches (42 percent), an increase from four (33 percent) in 2010. There were seven female head coaches in the 2010 season and six female head coaches at the start of the 2011 season, representing an 8 percentage point decrease.

The percentage of African‐American assistant coaches decreased from 44 percent in 2010 to 36 percent in 2011, while the percentage of white assistant coaches increased from 56 percent in 2010 to 63 percent in 2011.

The number of women in the CEO/presidents role decreased from six to two in 2011, which is a 31 percentage point decrease.

In the 2011 season, there were eight women and four African‐Americans as general managers compared to six and four, respectively, in 2010.

For the second consecutive year, the WNBA maintained its historic all-time high of having 28 percent of team senior administrators who were people of color.

In the professional administration category, whites increased from 80 percent in 2010 to 86 percent in 2011, Latinos increased from 0 percent in 2010 to 4 percent in 2011, while the percentage of women decreased from 54 percent in 2010 to 40 percent in 2011. African-Americans decreased from 17 percent to 10 percent during that same time span.


STORY TAGS: Black News, African American News, Minority News, Civil Rights News, Discrimination, Racism, Racial Equality, Bias, Equality, Afro American News, Women News, Minority News, Discrimination, Diversity, Female, Underrepresented, Equality, Gender Bias, Equality


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