WASHINGTON — Notre Dame's women's basketball head coach Muffet McGraw is well known for speaking out against gender and racial inequality.
Thursday, at the Women's Final Four, was no different.
A reporter asked McGraw how seriously she takes being the voice for women's equality in college basketball.
What followed was a two minute answer highlighting the low percentage of female representation in Congress, the low percentage of women as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, and the low percentage of women who are athletic directors at universities.
"Did you know that the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced in 1967 and still hasn't passed? We need 38 states to agree that discrimination on the basis of sex is unconstitutional. We've had a record number of women running for office and winning, and still we have 23 percent of the House and 25 percent of the Senate.
I'm getting tired of the novelty of the first female governor of this state, the first female African-American mayor of this city. When is it going to become the norm instead of the exception?
How are these young women looking up and seeing someone that looks like them, preparing them for the future? We don't have enough female role models, we don't have enough visible women leaders, we don't have enough women in power. Girls are socialized to know when they come out, gender roles are already set.
Men run the world. Men have the power. Men make the decisions. It's always the men that is the stronger one. And when these girls are coming up, who are they looking up to to tell them that that's not the way it has to be? And where better to do that than in sports? All these millions of girls who play sports across the country, they could come out every day, and we're teaching them some great things about life skills. But wouldn't it be great if we could teach them to watch how women lead? This is the path for you to take, to get to the point where, in this country, we have 50 percent of women in power. Right now, less than 5 percent of women are CEOs in Fortune 500 companies.
So yes, when you look at men's basketball and 99 percent of the jobs go to men, why shouldn't 100 or 99 percent of the jobs in women's basketball go to women? Maybe it's because we only have 10 percent women athletic directors in Division I. People hire people who look like them, and that's the problem."