Elena Delle Donne talks entrepreneurship, wage gap in Uninterrupted interview
Washington Mystics star Elena Delle Donne was featured in the Uninterrupted series “Kneading Dough” Wednesday, where she discussed her battle with Lyme disease and numerous off-the-court interests with Uninterrupted CEO Maverick Carter.
Uninterrupted is LeBron James’ digital media company, which he started with Carter, his business partner. The series “Kneading Dough” focuses on how professional athletes have managed their money and pursued business interests away from the playing field.
Delle Donne said that she knew “the importance of a team” from an early age because her sister, Lizzie, has special needs.
“It was always about her, like how can we help Lizzie to be great and to overcome all these disabilities that have been thrown her way,” Delle Donne said. “I learned right away that it takes a team to achieve a lot. Anything, really.”
Delle Donne, who recently published a series of children’s books, also talked about another business venture she and her wife Amanda took on: a woodworking company called Delle Donne Designs.
“In season it’s tough to do tables because it’s just the two of us,” she said. “That’s the one thing I struggle the most with being an entrepreneur, is delegating. We need to scale it at some point, but I need to let go.”
Delle Donne, once of the preeminent stars in the WNBA, also discussed the wage gap between NBA and WNBA players. Delle Donne earns the league maximum: $115,000 a year. The NBA minimum salary last season was $815,615, or higher depending on players’ years of experience in the league.
“You can kind of just see that women aren’t valued the same way that men are in the workforce,” Delle Donne said. “It gets frustrating, but you just gotta continue to fight the battle. And it’s a societal problem that I think the league (NBA) and the W (WNBA) can kind of spearhead and start a movement going.”