Surfer Stephanie Gilmore reveals the shocking pay difference between men and women in the sport

Greatest female surfer of all time Stephanie Gilmore reveals the shocking pay difference between men and women in the sport and says she was pressured to ‘look good in a bikini’

Eight-time world surfer Stephanie Gilmore is speaking up on pay inequality in the sport. 

The Australian surfing star tells this week’s issue of Stellar Magazine that she was making almost a quarter of what her male counterparts did early in her career. 

‘For my first eight years on tour, my pay was probably $12,000 to the men’s $40,000. But I didn’t question it because all I wanted to do was surf’ the 34-year-old says. 

Eight-time world surfer Stephanie Gilmore is speaking up on pay inequality in the sport. Pictured in this week's issue of Stellar Magazine

Eight-time world surfer Stephanie Gilmore is speaking up on pay inequality in the sport. Pictured in this week’s issue of Stellar Magazine 

Stephanie explained that the surf industry ‘can be a tough place for women to not feel intimidated’ – and she hopes to be a beacon of change. 

‘I was never driven by money. But being a leader is about more than holding up a trophy. That’s when [I] wanted to push for equality.’

The athlete explained that she felt there was undue focus on her looks as a woman in the sport, some of which she admits were her ‘own insecurities’. 

'For my first eight years on tour, my pay was probably $12,000 to the men's $40,000. But I didn't question it because all I wanted to do was surf' the 34-year-old says

‘For my first eight years on tour, my pay was probably $12,000 to the men’s $40,000. But I didn’t question it because all I wanted to do was surf’ the 34-year-old says

Stephanie explained that the surf industry ' can be a tough place for women to not feel intimidated' - and she hopes to be a beacon of change

Stephanie explained that the surf industry ‘ can be a tough place for women to not feel intimidated’ – and she hopes to be a beacon of change

‘Yes, there were moments where I felt pressure as an up-and-coming surfer to look good in a bikini and to have that hot beach-girl vibe’ she said. 

‘But I’ve watched other female athletes like Serena Williams be fierce and feminine, and I feel like the older I get, I realise how fun it is to embrace both sides’.

In September, Stephanie earned the title of the greatest female surfer of all time. 

The athlete explained that she felt there was undue focus on her looks as a woman in the sport, some of which she admits were her 'own insecurities'

The athlete explained that she felt there was undue focus on her looks as a woman in the sport, some of which she admits were her ‘own insecurities’

The Australian surfing star made history at California’s Lower Trestles break, beating world No.1 and five-time world champion Carissa Moore in the title decider. 

Gilmore was in tears as she hugged Moore immediately after winning her eighth world title, one more than compatriot Layne Beachley.  

‘I visualised this so much and I was like ‘let’s do this’,’ she said after her win.

In September, Stephanie earned the title of the greatest female surfer of all time. She made history at California's Lower Trestles break, beating world No.1 and five-time world champion Carissa Moore in the title decider

In September, Stephanie earned the title of the greatest female surfer of all time. She made history at California’s Lower Trestles break, beating world No.1 and five-time world champion Carissa Moore in the title decider

Gilmore was in tears after winning her eighth world title, which is one more than compatriot Layne Beachley

Gilmore was in tears after winning her eighth world title, which is one more than compatriot Layne Beachley

‘Let’s just prove this whole system wrong – you can come from the bottom, come from fifth and win a world title. That’s friggin’ cool.

‘I don’t think I’ve won a world title sitting in the water against the world No.1. There are not many words that can describe this feeling right now.

‘I’m freaking out. I can’t believe it – it’s insane’ she said.

Read more in this week's issue of Stellar Magazine

Read more in this week’s issue of Stellar Magazine 

 

 

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