Women's professional sports hit a major crossroad

The first woman to ever a lead a Big Four professional services firm in the U.S. is embarking on a new career as the leader of the WNBA.

Deloitte CEO Cathy Engelbert, also a former Division 1 basketball player, will take the reins as commissioner in July. She told FOX Business that she is looking forward to using her business knowledge to lead a professional sports organization for women.

“This is kind of something I wanted to do with a broader women’s leadership platform and a passion for the game. It’s a dream job,” she said during an interview on “Mornings with Maria.”

“Sports is big business,” she explained.  “So the WNBA has been one of the few, if only, women’s professional leagues that has survived and sustained and I think from a business prospective coming in, looking at the player experience, the fan experience… broadening the fan base amongst millennials and digital natives and really driving it to a level where the league can thrive.”

In Engelbert's opinion, it’s an important moment for women’s leadership, especially in team sports.

“I think the WNBA is at this inflection point where everybody is committed to make this work,” she said. “The product on the court is amazing.”


The average attendance was 6,721 for the 2018 season, slightly down from its record 2017 season, which recorded an average turnout 7,716 per game.

The WNBA’s 23rd season tips off Friday.