TIAA, WNBA and NCAA Elite Join Forces to Spotlight Retirement Inequality

Originally published at TIAA ranked No. 9 on The Fair360, formerly DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.


TIAA, a leading provider of secure retirements, is shining a light on the staggering 30% retirement income gap between men and women through its new #retireinequality movement.

Women still earn less — just 82 cents on the dollar compared to men. Their unpaid work raising children and caring for elderly family members has widened the gap. The pandemic has made matters worse, as nearly two million women have left the workforce since 2020. Women also retire about two years earlier than men, but typically live five years longer. The net result of all these factors is that women’s retirement savings and investments generate about 30% less income than men’s once they stop working, and women also face a greater risk of running out of money in retirement, an inequality that must be retired.

Together with some of the most influential players and coaches in the NCAA and WNBA — women who have played pivotal roles stamping out inequities in the sports arena — TIAA is working to level the playing field in retirement and beyond.

“While women have made tremendous progress attending college, competing in sports and rising through the ranks of Corporate America, significant gaps in equality remain,” said Thasunda Brown Duckett, President and CEO of TIAA. “TIAA is committed to creating a more secure and inclusive financial future for everyone. Through our work with the Women’s Sports Foundation and by joining forces with these incredible players and coaches, we aim to raise awareness of the 30% gap in women’s retirement security and ignite a conversation that inspires, educates and challenges everyone to work together to close it.”

To help spread the word on the fight to #retireinequality, TIAA has linked arms with NCAA women’s basketball players and WNBA leaders, including:

  • Dawn Staley, WNBA Hall of Famer and Coach
  • Sedona Prince, Forward for the Oregon Ducks
  • C. Vivian Stringer, Rutgers women’s basketball coach
  • A’ja Wilson, Forward for Las Vegas Aces
  • Arike Ogunbowale, Guard for the Dallas Wings
  • Angel Reese, Forward for the Maryland Terrapins
  • Chloe Pavlech, Assistant Coach the Baylor women’s basketball team
  • Elena Delle Donne, Forward for Washington Mystics
  • Azzi Fudd, Guard for the Uconn Huskies

These prominent players and coaches are bringing awareness to the retirement income gap and educating others — especially younger women — by sharing their personal stories of why the fight to retire inequality matters. The conversations they are sparking are particularly timely and relevant this March in honor of Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day and Equal Pay Day.

This year is also the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark law that drove equity in education and opened the doors of college sports for women. Title IX’s legislative history stems from the persistent earnings gap between women and men in the workforce and subsequent focus on inequities in education.

TIAA is marking this moment and this movement with a custom-designed symbol to signify the progress made so far and the work that’s still left to do. The mark represents passion, power and pride in standing alongside the millions of women fighting to be the change so the U.S. can finally realize the full promise of gender equality.

“The visible disparity between the men and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments last year spurred a much-needed conversation around the lack of gender equality in athletics, and although there is still much to be done, there is momentum and progress,” said Sedona Prince. “Alongside this group of powerhouse women athlete Ambassadors, I am excited about the opportunity to raise awareness on a related issue — the 30% gap in retirement income between men and women — with the goal of impressing upon young women the importance of, and the path to proper retirement preparedness.”

As part of its commitment, TIAA is now the signature partner of The Equity Project, an initiative powered by the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), and will donate a total of $1.5 million to the organization over the course of the next three years. The Equity Project is a movement with the goal of positively impacting participation, policy, representation and leadership for girls and women in sustainable and measurable ways. Through this donation and partnership, TIAA is focusing on pay equity, ultimately helping to eliminate the retirement income gap between women and men.

Founded by Billie Jean King, WSF funds groundbreaking research, provides financial assistance to aspiring champion athletes and educates and advocates on behalf of female athletes across the country and around the world.

“The Women’s Sports Foundation exists to enable girls and women to reach their potential in sport and life,” said Meghan Duggan, President of WSF. “At the heart of our mission is reaching true gender equity in many areas — from equal access and opportunity to Title IX compliance, pay equity and advancement of women in leadership positions; the success of our advocacy efforts requires commitment and collaboration. We are grateful for corporate partners such as TIAA who understand the importance of equity, representation, diversity and inclusion, and are excited to advance the work of The Equity Project together.”

To hear inspirational stories, join the conversation, and learn how you can help, please visit:


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