Female winner earns exactly half as much as her male counterpart!
You would think, in this historical moment right here, that one corporate rule would trump all others. Don’t pay women half as much as their male counterparts for the same work. And if you are going to pay women half as much as their male counterparts for the same work then don’t advertise it.
Well, the World Surf League, dances to the beat of its own drummer and decided yesterday, in South Africa, the time was right to kick feminism in the nuts.
And can we turn to The South African for details? It’d be rude not to.
Well, this is awkward. The Ballito Pro Junior competition has been chastised to high heaven after their prize money allocation drew accusations of sexism.
The Billabong-sponsored surfing tournament was held 40km north of Durban, and split into both a male and female category.
Surfing the same ocean, with the same equipment and being judged on the same criteria, the under 18 men’s winner walked away with R8 000. Meanwhile, the under 18 women’s champion took home R4 000.
Naturally, it didn’t take long for Facebook users to register their anger once the prizes were revealed
The official Facebook page for the Ballito Pro issued a brief statement on the site. They confirmed that the prize money was distributed by the World Surf League, suggesting it was up to them to right this wrong:
“The World Surf League is the governing and sanctioning body of the event that determines all prize money and rankings. We have brought this to their attention for further comment.”
ABC in Australia actually went to the World Surf League (I would have but am busy chasing up leads on corruption etc.) and here we have this:
WSL Australia/Oceania Regional Manager Will Hayden-Smith told Hack the Ballito Pro photo “on first glance does look like a huge disparity”.
“It highlights an issue, but it’s a very complicated one,” he said.
The WSL argument comes down to the concept of prize-money-per-surfer, which it says shows the equality of pay between male and female competitors.
It works like this: say there are 10 surfers competing for a total pot of $100 in prize money. That works out to a ratio of $10-per-surfer. The winner gets $50, and the runners up get the rest.
Now say there is a female competition of five surfers. At the same ratio of $10-per-surfer, the total prize money is $50. The winner gets only $25.
That was the case at the Ballito Pro, the WSL said. There were twice as many male surfers as female ones: 36 compared to 18. To keep the same money-per-surfer ratio for men and women, the prize money for the female winner had to be half as much as the men.
“Men get double the prize money only because there are double the competitors,” Will Hayden-Smith said.
That makes zero sense but even if it did, maybe someone should have thought about the optics? Do you like that word? “Optics.” I kind of do.
The World Surf League has glaucoma.