June 20, 2012
Sports and Success
The very first sports bra consisted of two jockstraps stitched together. Yikes!
Thankfully, women in sports have come a long way since then. A lot of that advancement is owed to Title IX, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month.
The Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, better known as Title IX, was passed in 1972. It prohibits gender discrimination in athletics and academics.
So, how does it affect women today?
The mindset encouraged by Title IX made it easier for women to rise to leadership positions in sports and at work, says Peggy Miller Franck, author of Prides Crossing. Her book tells the story of Eleanora Sears, who pioneered the legislation.
In the early ‘70s, about 300,000 girls participated in high school athletics. Today, that number has grown to about 3.5 million, according to ESPN.
“My generation of trailblazers who were around when Title IX was passed is now the most powerful generation,” says Missy Park, a former Yale basketball player and founder of women’s athletic-wear company, Title Nine.
Park says her generation must remind young girls about the life lessons learned from sports participation. “Sports are a great place to practice failing and accepting. That’s the way we learn and ultimately succeed. It’s a great lesson in resilience.”
The National Women’s Law Center highlights little-known rights provided by Title IX, like protection from bullying and sexual harassment.
Bonus PINK Link: Our online exclusive tells you what happens when companies don't embrace diversity.
Has sports participation helped your career? Comment and tell us your story.
By Farren Davis
“As a woman, I must make unusual efforts to succeed.”
Clare Boothe Luce
*Supporting images from FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Digital art, bulldogza, Ambro