The International Chess Federation has recently made headlines for securing the biggest ever sponsorship deal for their latest Women’s World Championship. And the sponsor you ask? Motiva – a company specialising in breast augmentation.
Naturally, this move sparked outrage from female players pushing to be noticed for their “brains rather than boobs”.1 Yet competitors praised the deal for even happening, as it is “extremely difficult” to find sponsors for women’s events.1
Mainstream media likes to focus on unequal pay in women’s competitions and sporting leagues, but really, we should be pivoting the conversation. Instead, we need talk about how limited the sponsorship opportunities for female talent are, and how this is the main barrier stopping them from fully capitalising on their careers and achieving parity.