Female GAA athletes take new step towards equality with help of two PR firms

Female GAA athletes have taken the latest step towards equality with their male counterparts with assurances given by two public relations firms that compensation for commercial work will be the same where possible.

he agreement has been reached by the Gaelic Players Association and the two companies they use most and have now expressed a preference for, Teneo and Wilson Hartnell.

It follows equality of State support for inter-county ladies Gaelic football and camogie players announced by Minister for Sport Jack Chambers earlier this year.

Potentially, GAA players can currently earn a ballpark figure of between €1,000 and €1,500 per day for promotional work organised by PR firms on behalf of bluechip companies. In some cases, depending on the duration of a contract, it can be considerably higher.

The two companies in question have signed a pledge stating that they “will work with the GPA to strive for equal treatment for male and female inter-county players in our industry and will, at all times, use the best of our endeavors to ensure that is recognised in the work we do on behalf of our clients.

“This includes how players are compensated for their work on promotional activity, sponsorship activation and product endorsements. In signing this pledge, we hope that our influence within the sporting industry can further bolster the movement towards equality for female athletes, a movement we wholeheartedly endorse and in which we have long sought to take a leading role.”

The GPA’s newly-appointed equality, diversity and inclusion manager Gemma Begley said it was not a closed shop to have just the two PR companies involved and it was open to others to share the pledge.

“Equality for our female membership is a key pillar of the work we do on behalf of players. It is heartening, but not surprising, to see WH and Teneo sign up to this pledge. We are well aware of the work they do and their culture of promoting female athletes,” he said.

“To see them set commercial challenges aside to come together in this fashion shows their genuine commitment to the equitable promotion of female sport and female athletes. We are proud to recognise them as our preferred sport and sponsorship agencies,” she said.

“It should also be said that this is not a closed shop by any matter of means. Should other agencies want to get involved they should not hesitate to contact us.”

GAA president Larry McCarthy has endeavoured to have female representation, including management, on all of his committees though the full list of committees has never been made public.

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