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Interns in Professional Sport: An Investigation of Gender Parity on the Job

Jacquelyn Cuneen and M. Joy Sidwell

Internships permit sport management students to link classroom learning to the professional environment. Since internships provide students with opportunities to learn on-the-job and test their skills in the marketplace, the experiences should be uniformly beneficial to all students regardless of gender. This study was conducted to describe internship work conditions (i.e., opportunities to perform in essential marketplace functions) for male and female sport management interns assigned to ‘Big Four’ professional sport organizations. Participants were 74 sport industry professionals who supervised a total of 103 interns over a one-year period. A X2 Test of Independence found that male and female interns working in professional sport had comparable opportunities to perform and learn on the job. Differences in opportunity, hiring practices, and on-the-job benefits emerged primarily as a function of job specialization (e.g., operations, marketing, venue management), league/association, or gender of the internship supervisor rather than gender of the interns.

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Differences On The Job for Female And Male Sport Management Interns

Jacquelyn Cuneen and M. Joy Sidwell

Internships are essential parts of quality sport management education, enabling students to link the classroom - professional environments through observation, exploration, and participation. Given the significance of the internship experience, it is important to determine if all students have the same opportunities for learning. The purpose of this study was to describe working (i.e., learning conditions) for female and male sport management interns working in college sport. Participants were collegiate athletics administrators (N = 257) who provided information on seven aspects of students’ (N = 379) internship experiences. A Chi Square model found differences (p = <.05) favoring males in intern selection, employment status, and salary, as well as job assignments in sports information, corporate sales, and compliance. In addition, female interns performed more clerical duties than males. Supervisor gender was a significant factor in some cases. It was concluded that biases favoring males exist in many facets of collegiate internships.