Smart Woman - When's the last time you sat down and watched a women's sporting event?
This year, record numbers of people watched women's basketball and the women's Final Four. Analysts say that if the media would branch out and cover more women's sports, young girls will reap the benefits.
Micaella Riche sets her goals high. She's a 6'3 center and she averaged 13 points and 8 rebounds per game last season for the University of Minnesota.
"There's this feeling and passion that you get just when you score a basket." says Riche.
While girls are twice as likely as boys to drop out of sports by the age of 13, life is still dribbling and drills for Micaella. "Wanting to be the best, that's definitely, at the end of the day, that's what I want." says Riche.
Nicole Lavoi, with the University of Minnesota, studies girls and sports. "We have record numbers of girls participating in sports at every level." says Lavoi.
In 1972, 1-in-27 girls played high school sports and now it's 1-in-3. Still, we face more hurdles. Girls see female athletes on television less than 2% of the time. "So, what does that tell young girls? My athleticism isn't as valued as my male counterpart's." says Lavoi. Lavoi also says that in 30 years of sports illustrated, females appeared on less than 4% of the covers. Lavoi believes girls need successful athletes to emulate.
Boston University new reports show 82% of women executives played organized sports after elementary school, and 60% said it gave them a competitive edge over others in the business world. Athletes not only learn to compete, they build work ethic, ability to handle pressure, build teamwork, and confidence. As for Micaella, she's learned the value of playing sports and she's well-positioned to succeed, on and off the court.
Recent studies out of fortune magazine show that when it comes to men and women 95% of fortune 500 executives participated in high school athletics.