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Women’s Basketball With WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert

Haley Paskalides  |  October 2, 2023

The first-ever Commissioner of the WNBA shares why women’s basketball is having its most-watched season in history.

Women’s basketball is having a moment, and if you’ve been watching more than usual these days, you’re not alone. In fact, you’re among millions. This year, the WBNA had its most-watched regular session in 21 years, and the league also set new highs across digital platforms, social media engagement, and sports betting. And we love to see these highly skilled, incredibly powerful women get the recognition they deserve — on and off the court. One of the women we have to thank for this is the first-ever commissioner of the WNBA, Cathy Engelbert.

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Since being appointed commissioner in 2019, Engelbert has not only executed a historic player-first Collective Bargaining Agreement that addresses everything from compensation to health and wellness, but she’s also built and socialized a new economic framework to drive league revenue and owner success, and led the WNBA through the pandemic. Before coming on as Commissioner, she spent 33 years at Deloitte, rising through the ranks to eventually become the first female CEO of Deloitte and the first woman to lead a Big Four firm.

For anyone looking for guidance for transitioning to a second act in their career, Cathy says to write down three things you’re looking for in your next job. Hers were: “I want to do something different, I want to do something with a broad women’s leadership platform, and I want to do something I have a passion for.” 

Although she played Division I basketball in college, she never thought her next move would take her to women’s sports. However, when the opportunity was presented to her she knew she could do it because “sports is big business, and big business is about relationships.”

Hear how Cathy navigated the pandemic successfully, worked to get Britney Griner released from detention in Russia, and her plans for the future of the WNBA on this week’s episode of How She Does It. 

How She Does It is bringing you conversations like these with incredible women every Monday. Listen and subscribe on Apple Podcasts! And don’t forget to share with a friend if you’re loving the show! 


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