WNBA Outperforms All Other Athletic Leagues on Diverse and Inclusive Hiring Practices

The WNBA is continuing its winning streak, outperforming all other major athletics groups when it comes to racial and gender hiring practices.

Brooke Migdon of The Hill reported that “the Women’s National Basketball Association this week earned a nearly perfect score for race- and gender-inclusive hiring in 2021, according to an assessment of its hiring practices” by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport.

According to Migdon, “TIDES gave the WNBA A+ grades for race and gender, as well as an A+ grade overall.”

It’s not the first time the league has scored so highly on the association’s racial and gender report card; for 17 consecutive years, the WNBA has scored an A-level grade in both race and gender categories. In 2021, the group also did remarkably well with racial hiring practices (scoring 98.3 out of 100) and gender hiring practices (96.8).

“Those grades earned the WNBA the top spot among other sports organizations, including the National Basketball Association, the National Football League, the Major League Baseball League and the Major Soccer League that were looked at by TIDES — a position the WNBA has held since its first report card in 2004,” Migdon said.

To earn an A grade, TIDES stipulates that an organization’s workforce must consist of at least 30% people of color. The WNBA’s employees are 74.5% Black. 

“Black head coaches increased to five in 2021 from three in 2020,” Migdon said. “The percentage of people of color holding assistant-coaching positions rose for the second consecutive season to 61.3%, the largest single-season increase on record.”

2021 also marked the first time Hispanic and Latino assistant coaches were present in the league.

Compared to the WNBA’s knockout performance, the NBA and MLS were given less stellar grades by TIDES.

“MLB received a B+ in racial hiring practices and a C in gender hiring practices, earning a C+ grade overall,” MIgdon added.


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