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) – $30,000***
**Approximately $30,000 for representative players if they play every game in a year
***Players must also participate in the Super W domestic competition to receive this minimum
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) – $4,000**
- Rugby League:
- NRLW – $8,500
- State of Origin:
- $15,000 (QLD)*
- $6,000 (NSW)*
- All Stars – $3,000*
**Further payments are reported to come from the clubs. 35 players who also represent the Wallaroos are on a minimum of $30,000
Maximum wages of Australian women in sport: domestic
- Super Netball: $91,500
- AFLW: $71,935 (2 per club)
Maximum wages of Australian women in sport: international
- Rugby Union 15s (Wallaroos) – $52,000
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 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?
It’s estimated that Ellyse Perry earns about $300,000 a year in Australia 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.
Added to that, in 2023, Ellyse Pretty received $297,000 to play with the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the WPL (Women’s Premier League) in India.
How much does Ashleigh Gardner earn?
Ash Gardiner will take home $558,000 after being picked up by the Gujarat Giants in the WPL.
How much to Australian cricketers get paid in the WPL?
- Ash Gardiner – $558,000
- Beth Mooney – $349,000
- Ellyse Perry – $297,000
- Tahlia McGrath – $244,000
- Meg Lanning – $192,000
- Annabel Sutherland – $122,000
- Alyssa Healy – $122,000
- Erin Burns – $52,000
- Heather Graham – $52,000
- Grace Harris – $131,000
- Georgia Wareham – $131,000
- Laura Harris – $78,400
- Jess Jonassen – $87,000
- Megan Schutt – $69,000
??Each of the five teams has a salary cap of $2.1m for squads of between 15-18 players.
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.
- Rugby Union have agreed to a parenting and pregnancy guideline in principle but no details have been shared yet.
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.
- Albanese backs funding boost as Rugby Australia announces historic Women’s investment (2023)
- Women’s Premier League Auction: Ash Gardner’s $558,000 payday on momentous night for cricket (2023)
- What can we reasonably expect of the Wallaroos at the Rugby World Cup? (2022)
- 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)
Women in sport podcasts from Australia
tom johnson says
Came across your article when looking at different sports for female athletes. Thanks, as there don’t seem to be to many ready comparisons across sports. I did note that the day you published the ARL also announced a new deal for NRLW which changes the landscape – for a 20 week season that has 9 rounds. Min salary for this year to be 30k rising to over 50k by 2027.
Do you have any thoughts on why the ALW lags so badly, given they have one of the longer standing competitions? Or it that actually one of the barriers?
Danielle Warby says
Thanks Tom, I did see that from ARL but as it’s still an ‘in principle’ agreement and not yet finalised, I haven’t added it here yet. I’m eagerly awaiting for the CBA to be finalised.
As for the ALW… yeah, I have thoughts. I think for the most part, the clubs don’t know what they have in their women’s product. Women’s football culture is different to the men’s and they don’t understand it. Numbers for the ALM are low and they’re too busy focused on that. Match day experience is pretty rubbish (with the exception of Canberra United) and it’s like they’re going through the motions for their women’s teams. They don’t know what the league is, with the majority of our stars now overseas, there’s been an identity shift. The fact that the Matildas have taken off, and that clubs like Lewes FC exist, should give them ideas. But I’m not convinced the APL actually care. The board seems to be run on something similar to a federated model, notoriously bad for any gender equality both on the board and in other aspects of the game. All this contributes to low pay.