In the world of athletics, women are taking lead roles as coaches, referees and more.
By Cy White, Illustrations by Jessica Wetterer
For the 2022-2023 NFL season, there are three female football officials. This is up from two in the 2021-2022 season. The first female referee in the NFL was Sarah Thomas in 2015. In 2021, she became the first woman to officiate the Super Bowl. She returns for the 2022-2023 season, accompanied by Maia Chaka (who also officiated during the 2021-2022 season) and Robin DeLorenzo.
According to the Tucker Center for Research on Girls & Women in Sport’s annual Women in College Coaching Report Card, the percentage of women head coaches of NCAA D-I women’s teams in Select 7 conferences is 43.7%, and 43.4% for all NCAA D-I women’s teams. While this shows a steady increase in women head coaches for the past eight years (in Select 7 conferences), overall the number of women head coaches is down from 90% when Title IX was passed in 1972.
In 2020, Kim Ng became the first woman and first person of East Asian descent to serve as general manager for a Major League Baseball (MLB) team when she took over as general manager for the Miami Marlins. Prior to her promotion, she served as the MLB’s vice president of baseball operations (2011-2020) and assistant general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers (2002-2011).