We’re passionate about equal pay here at aSweatLife — so passionate, in fact, that we host an annual Equal Pay Day event filled with networking, negotiation workshops, and of course, a butt-kicking workout led by our favorite female trainers. But outside of the offices where most of us reside, there’s another industry fighting for equal pay: women’s professional sports.
The U.S. women’s soccer team, for example, fought for a new contract after filing a wage discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, resulting in substantial raises and better bonuses (but, it must be said, not quite equal pay). Professional female athletes across the world have followed suit in requesting better pay, maternity leave, and improved working conditions.
And just this fall, the World Surf League announced that starting in the 2019 season, they’ll award equal prize money in men’s and women’s competitions, making it the first (and only) US-based global sports to do so.
The timing of the announcement paired perfectly with the news that The Beachwaver Co., the cult favorite beauty product lauded by influencers, editors, and beauty enthusiasts alike, would be sponsoring the tour’s final stop, the Beachwaver Maui Pro.
Founded in 2010 by celebrity hair stylist Sarah Potempa and her sisters Erin Potempa-Wall and Emily Potempa, The Beachwaver Co. has built their reputation on creating products that empower women to look and feel their best. With a barrel that moves with the push of a button, the clamp on a Beachwaver is shorter than traditional curling irons, which prevents damage to the hair. Unlike using a curling wand, there’s little risk of accidentally burning your fingertips or neck. The rotating curling iron is a must for those who want to get that “I just rode the waves look,” without actually surfing.
For Beachwaver President and Co-Founder Erin Potempa Wall, the sponsorship had greater meaning than just attaching the company’s name. “As entrepreneurs, we know the value of hard work and competition,” she explained. “Empowering women has always been an important part of The Beachwaver Co.’s mission, and we are thrilled to team up with an organization that shares a similar vision.”
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Epic day at the #Beachwavermauipro 💓 Proud of our @thebeachwaver team for supporting strong, inspirational, and passionate female athletes! We are a women-owned (#sisters!!) company that focuses on innovation, sustainability, and accessibility. We are proud to partner with the @wsl for announcing that the female professional surfers will receive #equalpay!! We also want to thank each and every surfer that welcomed us in to their world with so much love and positive energy..we are fans for life!! 🙌🏼🌊🏄🏼♀️ #worldsurfleague #beachwaverpro #surf @jessmileydyer @wsl @prestmp
Sarah Potempa is also thrilled to be aligned with like-minded people. “As the inventor of the Beachwaver, I am beyond excited to work with these incredible women, with equally incredible stories, who are inspirations to people around the world, and who inspire us, too.”
Eighteen incredible female athletes surfed for the title, but Carissa Moore took it home with the season’s first perfect ten of the women’s 2018 season. Stephanie Louise Gilmore won competition overall for the seventh time. She was especially enthusiastic this year, saying, “This season has been incredible and to win my seventh WSL Title in Honolua Bay at the Beachwaver Maui Pro was so special. Women’s surfing has never been in a better place – the level on the tour just keeps going up and up, the recent prize money equality announcement was groundbreaking and the amazing support of brands like Beachwaver is so important. I can’t wait for 2019!”
All the action streamed on the World Surfing League’s website. Exclusive looks at what happened behind the scenes are posted to BeachWaver’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
The World Surfing League was founded in 1976 and runs more than 180 global events every year including both Men’s and Women’s Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, and the WSL Big Wave Awards.