First Female Co-Owner of Professional Soccer Team, the Washington Spirit, Michele Kang, Addresses Pay Inequities in Women’s Soccer

Washington, DC’s professional soccer team and National Women’s Soccer League club member, the Washington Spirit, is elevating its visibility and strengthening its foundation with well-known investors—strong, powerful women with major connections.

Before Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush Hager, Dominique Dawes, and others recently invested in the Spirit, Michele Kang, Founder and CEO of Cognosante, laid the groundwork by becoming the first woman owner in the club’s history. “I was the first female owner-slash-co-owner, but that was a short-lived distinction, which I’m very happy about,” she said in an interview with WJLA ABC Channel 7.

She elaborated in the interview on her motivations for investing in the team, how she relates to the players, and her belief that now is the time to close the equity gap for female players. “I think that sports, not only from a pure athletic perspective but in life, are an incredible way to learn leadership, how to win; but more importantly how to lose.” Michele has applied this lesson in how she approaches business, including when she founded her own company which has a focus on service and innovation.

Michele also believes the team’s new high-profile investors, and the surge in women ownership across the League, will begin to level the playing field regarding the ongoing fight for pay equity for women athletes. While women’s professional soccer has been quickly gaining popularity in the last few years, pay inequity is a key challenge that women players still experience and have been vocal about.

In both the business world and now in the sports world, Michele continues to be a trailblazer for change, like many other women making history as “the first” in their domain. Cognosante’s mission to help Americans access  healthcare and other critical services was founded on the idea that equity in access are a right for all Americans – especially those most in need.

No stranger to finding innovative ways to solve complex challenges, Michele sees change and improvement as fully achievable. She hopes that her story will inspire others of all backgrounds and circumstances to make their own mark on history. Watch Michele’s full interview with WJLA-ABC Channel 7 here.



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