She shoots. She scores.
The WNBA is poised to make sweeping gains for women and mothers, agreeing to terms in a new collective bargaining agreement that would give basketball players a significant salary bump and expanded maternity benefits.
According to the contract agreement between the league and the players’ union, the highest-paid players could earn more than $500,000 — nearly triple the previous maximum cap. They would rake in an annual base salary of $215,000, up from $117,500.
Players from the league’s 12 teams would also be able to take maternity leave with full salary, and veteran players could get reimbursed for up to $60,000 for costs around adoption, surrogacy, egg freezing and fertility treatments.
The trailblazing benefits would also include a dedicated area in stadiums for nursing mothers, and a $5,000 child care stipend.
“We believe it’s a groundbreaking and historic deal,” said WNBA commissioner Cathy Engelbert, according to ESPN. “I’m proud of the players; they bargained hard, they unified, they brought attention to so many important topics.”
Compared to the NBA, which splits its revenue in half with the men’s players, women on the WNBA currently earn just 20 to 30 percent of league revenue, according to The New York Times. But if the league hits certain marketing, licensing and broadcast targets, the WNBA and its players could split revenue equally by 2021.
The proposed eight-year contract still awaits approval by the league’s governing board and the union’s membership.