It’s impossible to give exact amounts of salaries for female athletes, different sports have different pay arrangements. Some athletes may have personal sponsorships or endorsements on top of these figures.
Women in sport tend to be paid more at the international level than the club level, which is different to how men in sport are paid.
So, this means all wages are approximate. Earnings are in Australian dollars unless I’ve said otherwise.
If you have any updated payment details for women in sport in Australia, please leave a comment below.
Minimum wages of Australian women in sport: international
- Cricket (Southern Stars) – $75,000
- Football (Matildas) – $40,000
- Netball (Diamonds) – No minimum**
- Rugby League (Jillaroos) – $2,000*
- Rugby Union 7s (Pearls) – $44,500
- Rugby Union 15s (Wallaroos) – $1,000*
**Approximately $30,000 for representative players if they play every game in a year
Minimum wages of Australian women in sport: domestic
- Aussie rules (AFLW) – $39,184
- Basketball (WNBL) – $15,000
- Cricket (WBBL) – $26,000
- Football (W-League) – $16,344
- Netball (Super Netball) – $43,000
- Rugby 15s (Super W) – Unpaid
- Rugby League:
- NRLW – $8,500
- State of Origin:
- $15,000 (QLD)*
- $6,000 (NSW)*
- All Stars – $3,000*
Maximum wages of Australian women in sport: domestic
- Super Netball: $91,500
- AFLW: $71,935 (2 per club)
Super Netball and AFLW are the only sports with a published maximum wage.
Potential average wages of Australian women in sport
- Basketball (WNBL) – $33,660
- Cricket (Southern Stars) – $94,000
- Cricket (WNCL/WBBL) – $46,000
- Cricket (WNCL) – $40,829*
- Cricket (WBBL) – $24,179*
- Netball (Super Netball) – $75,167
* The payments do not include match fees.
How much does Ash Barty earn?
In 2021, she was the number 1 earner on the court and recently signed a sponsorship deal with Marriott Bonvoy.
- Total earnings: USD$6.9 million (AUD$9.5 million
- Prize money: USD$3.9 million (AUD$5.4 million)
- Endorsements: USD$3 million (AUD$4.1 million)
In 2020, she was the 3rd highest paid female athlete in the world.
- Total earnings: USD$13.1 million (AUD$17.8 million)
- Prize money: USD$10.1 million (AUD$13.7 million)
- Endorsements: USD$3 million (AUD$4.1 million)
Barty won her first career Slam at the 2019 French Open, triggering lucrative bonuses from sponsors Fila and Head. She also endorses Rado, Jaguar, Vegemite, Banana Boat and Esmi.
How much does Sam Kerr earn?
Sam Kerr will be the first Australian female footballer to earn over $1 million. The bulk of that will come from her contract with Chelsea worth an estimated $2 million over 2.5 years. Sam also has a $1 million endorsement with Nike.
How much does Ellyse Perry earn?
Ellyse Perry’s salary is about $300,000 a year with her combined WBBL and national team contracts, which includes marketing duties. Her net worth had been valued at over $10 million with her sponsorships and endorsements.
How much does Tayla Harris earn?
In 2021, AFLW star Tayla Harris received a base salary of $25,000 for playing and around $80,000 for other work she does at Carlton.
How much does Sam Stosur earn?
Her earnings in 2019 were $1.67 million, taking her 20-year career takings close to $28 million.
How much does Stephanie Gilmore earn?
Surfer Steph Gilmore earned $2.1 million in 2019. While some of this is prize money, the bulk comes from endorsements.
Australia’s highest paid netball player
A marquee player at Super Netball is paid around $150,000 to $180,000 a season. So I guesstimate, our highest paid netball player would receive comfortably over $200,000 a year.
Australia’s highest paid cricket player
Several sources say Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning earn about $300,000 a year across international and domestic commitments.
Australia’s highest paid AFLW player
Honestly? I don’t know. There is a pay structure so the highest an athlete can be paid is $37,155 and only 2 athletes per team are paid that amount. More would be paid to players with promotional duties. The majority (16 per club) earn $20,239.
Salary floor and salary caps for Australian women’s sport teams
- Basketball (WNBL): $336,000 to $420,000 (excluding superannuation)
- Rugby league (NRLW): Cap of $350,000
Australian Olympic medalists
- Gold: $20,400
- Silver: $15,400
- Bronze: $10,300
The softball girls had to pay to go to the Olympic selection camp in Sydney. There is no health cover, no sick pay, no super and if you get injured you can lose your funding.Natalie Cook
Parental policy for Australian women in sport
- Aussie rules – The AFLW’s maternity and pregnancy policy allows for travel support for an infant and carer up to 12 months, or longer if a child is still breastfeeding, with the current contract to be paid in full during pregnancy.
- Basketball – Parental and pregnancy care policy (WNBL). Full provision of a qualified carer or player elected support personnel for all away trips.
- Cricket – 12 months paid with additional maternity and pregnancy provisions.
- Netball (Diamonds) – 12 months’ paid maternity leave for players in contract
- Netball (Super Netball) – 100% income protection on all earnings for up to two years. Support for an infant carer to attend matches, if a player has a child under 12 months old or a child who is being breastfed.
Private health insurance and income protection
- Netball (Super Netball):
- An insurance allowance of $2,667
- 100% income protection on all earnings for up to two years in the event of injury
Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers’ Association (ACA) allocate $320,000 for wellbeing support and $250,000 to allow players to bring their partners and dependents with them while they are away from home.
Women in sport: Top 5 earners internationally
Internationally, the top 5 earners in women’s sport are Naomi Osaka ($57.3 million), Serena Williams ($45.9 million), Venus Williams ($11.3 million), Simone Biles ($10.1 million), and Garbiñe Muguruza ($8.8 million). Australian Ash Barty comes in at number 8 with $6.9 million.
Figures are in US dollars.
Forbes top 10 earning women and men compared
Figures are in UK pounds.
- Australian cricketers to share in $70 million bonus (2022)
- CBA LOCKED IN: Big pay increase, August start date confirmed (2022)
- ARLC announce expansion for NRLW, Women’s State of Origin (2022)
- The Highest-Paid Female Athletes Score A Record $167 Million (2022)
- The AFL’s vision for AFLW is bold and aspirational, but full-time professionalism a sticking point (2021)
- QRL to provide equal Origin pay for men’s and women’s Maroons (2021)
- Female cricketers get pay rise as Cricket Australia strives for ‘genuine parity’ (2021)
- PFA and APL announce ground-breaking CBA to drive Professional Leagues (2021) – Football
- League lands landmark pay deal (2021) – Netball
- Tokyo Olympics 2021: What each country pays medallists revealed (2021) – Olympic sport
- AFLW 2021: Tayla Harris Carlton contract, news, recruitment, list (2021)
- W-League, A-League to foster ‘one club, one sport’ mentality (2020)
- Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2020 (2020)
- Top netballers agree to updated deal (2020)
- A second bite of the cherry: reviewing the 2019-2022 wage deal for the Australian Football League Women (2019)
- Sam Kerr’s Chelsea pay-day proves there’s still a long way to go for equal pay (2019)
- Sam Stosur to play on but youth is the future for Australia (2019)
- How does the Matildas’ pay deal stack up against the rest? (2019)
- WNBL and ABA secure minimum player payments increase (2019)
- Minimum wage for WNBL players now in place under new deal (2017)
- Building Momentum: The evolution of women’s wages In Australian Professional Team Sports (2017)
- Cricket celebrates ground-breaking year for women and girls (2017)
- Top cricketers become the highest paid athletes in Australian women’s sport under new pay deal (2017)