Voting on our current poll on equal pay for women (see right sidebar) has revealed that only 23% of you feel the market should decide the salaries and prize money for women. The remaining 77%  are split pretty evenly between those that believe only salaries should be equal and others that believe both salaries and prize money should be equal.

One promoter, who wishes to remain anonymous, weighed in on the subject with his personal thoughts below.

Promoters reward competitors who have equal achievements, not equal ambitions. Training hard, traveling far distance, please – so what? Every competitor is faced with those circumstances – but prizes are not handed out for training – otherwise we could simply hand in our SRM print-outs for the month and award first place based on that data. Travel distance? Hand in your airline tickets or gas bill and we’ll give you first place. Races ONLY reward finish order – and if there’s a promoter out there who thinks Elite Women race as hard as Men (even Cat. B’s & Masters) there’s a real customer for their London Bridge to put onto their Florida swampland they just bought from the guy on the corner.

We could determine parity quickly by having racers submit their race data – HR, Max HR, KW, etc. That would put a quick end to that spurious argument. One category who races MUCH faster/harder than Elite Women for the same length of time on the same course who doesn’t get prize money equal to Elite Women – I’m talking about Masters! Women who want access to big money prizes are eligible to race with Elite Men today (although the opposite is strictly verboten) but then you have to perform equally – equal competition.

Equal pay for equal performance – that’s absolutely the right way. Equal pay for significantly unequal performance?  You suffer a significant loss of credibility trying to justify it on a “Fairness” argument but as a promoter – if you can afford it, it’s your event to control – that’s absolutely your option because ultimately you pay the bills.

What do you think?  Drop a comment below. Got a longer response?  Send us an email.