Back of the net! Norway pays their male and female international footballers the same wages.


With the gender pay gap reporting deadline looming for companies with more than 250 employees, there’s been a lot of noise around gender pay gap. Not least because the CIPD recently reported that one in ten companies are set to miss the deadline.

In the face of much debate, it’s welcoming to report some positive news. And it comes in the unexpected guise of the Norwegian international male and female football teams.

The Nordic women’s team are to receive a pay rise of 2.5 million kroner, so that both the male and female sides will now be paid six million kroner (£541,823) each.

In this unprecedented move, it’s made all the more remarkable as the male players agreed to take a wage cut, in order to bring about this new equality.

Before the agreement, the women collectively earned £366,451 compared to the men’s £774,341 – despite the fact the ladies have consistently achieved better international results. As a result, the men are effectively sacrificing £44,739 that they previously earned from commercial activities and are generously donating these to the women’s team. That’s pretty magnanimous of them. Or, on the flip side, is it simply just? Perhaps. But when people do a nice thing, it’s good to recognise it.

The agreement was signed in December at the Norwegian Embassy in London by Norway’s men’s and women’s captains – Stefan Johansen and Maren Mjelde – and representatives of the Norwegian Football Association (NFF) and Norway’s players’ association (NISO).

Here’s what some of the people involved had to say about this landmark decision.

“I am proud to be a Norwegian football player,” said Maren Mjelde, Norway captain.

Pal Bjerketvedt, NFF’s Secretary General, said: “It is very positive that Norway is a pioneer. At the same time, this is a recognition for women’s football in general, and it’s amazing to see how much this means to the players and what enormous attention the issue has gained internationally. Players in the women’s team are increasingly being used in commercial contexts.”

Mona Juul, Norway’s ambassador to London, said “The agreement that guarantees equal pay for national teams is historic and important for Norwegian football. I hope that the agreement can also be internationally inspired and I am proud to host this opportunity.”



Thursday, 11 January 2018

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Back of the net! Norway pays their male and female international footballers the same wages.