One of the most prominent coaches in womens basketball, Muffet McGraw, says its time for more women in positions of power in all walks of life
One of the most prominent coaches in womens basketball, Muffet McGraw, says its time for more women in positions of power in all walks of life, including her own sport.
When you look at mens basketball, 99% of the jobs go to men, why shouldnt 100 or 99% of the jobs in womens basketball go to women? the Notre Dame coach said on Thursday before her team play in the NCAA tournament Final Four. Maybe its because we only have 10% women athletic directors in Division I. People hire people who look like them. Thats the problem.
McGraw said the issue goes well beyond womens basketball. Did you know that the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1967 and it still hasnt passed? she said. We need 38 states to agree that discrimination on the basis of sex is unconstitutional. Weve had a record number of women running for office and winning, and still we have 23% of the House and 25% of the Senate.
A frustrated McGraw is disappointed that there arent more female leaders in America. Im getting tired of the novelty of the first female governor of this state, the first female African American mayor of this city. When is it going to become the norm instead of the exception? McGraw said. How are these young women looking up and seeing someone that looks like them, preparing them for the future? We dont have enough female role models. We dont have enough visible women leaders. We dont have enough women in power.
McGraw, whose Notre Dame team plays UConn on Friday in a national semi-final showdown, feels girls are taught at an early age to defer to men. I think women need to have more confidence and apply for jobs. I think we wait to be asked, she said. It goes back to high school when youre waiting to be asked to the prom. I think women go after jobs in a very different way than men do. We want somebody to pursue us rather than really going for it. Girls are socialized to know when they come out, gender rules are already set. Men run the world. Men have the power. Men make the decisions. Its always the man that is the stronger one.
The 63-year-old Hall of Fame coach, who said in a recent story that she would never hire another male assistant coach, believes women can do more to help each other.
I think when people get to a certain position, they need to be able to reach down and pull somebody else up, they need to be better mentors, she said. I think we can do a lot more on networking. Guys have that down. They help each other. They know how the system works. We dont.
Former US president Barack Obama amplified McGraws message on Friday morning, tweeting a video clip of her press conference to his more than 105m followers.
McGraws Irish are back in the Final Four after capturing the second national title in school history last year in white-knuckle fashion, winning both the semi-final and championship games on buzzer-beaters by Arike Ogunbowale.
Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us