“Enjoy the Climb”: How NWSL Athlete Christen Press Stays Motivated
National Women’s Soccer League athlete Christen Press is a game changer—both on and off the field. In addition to racking up 64 goals in her professional career, the Angel City FC soccer player has been on the frontlines of fighting for pay equality in the sport and cofounded a gender-neutral fashion business, re—inc, to reimagine the status quo. Press and the NWSL have partnered with UKG on its Close the Gap Initiative, to further advocate for closing the pay gap in every area. Here, we chat with Press about fair compensation, taking on societal issues, and finding peace.
Why partner with UKG on the Close the Gap Initiative? Everyone deserves to be compensated fairly. This initiative is close to my heart because we, as female athletes, have had to fight for our equality and continue to do so every step of our careers. Close the Gap is addressing how this wage gap impacts the opportunities of many hard-working people. I have been given an incredible platform to help create change and raise awareness for all those affected. I’m excited to continue to use my voice to help establish and balance the pay scales.
You co-own a gender-neutral fashion business and advocacy platform, re—inc, with other U.S. women’s national soccer team champions. How does managing a business—and personally making a payroll—influence your perspective on pay equity? We founded re—inc with the mission to boldly reimagine the status quo. We have built a growing global community of changemakers bound by a need for progress and equity. We created this business because we believed in, and bet on, our own value. Together, with our beautiful community of reimaginers, we at re—inc are taking on societal issues and striving for personal growth.
What’s one piece of advice you’d like to share with your fans? We are at our best when we have peace and contentment in our hearts—we all deserve that. When you make space for your well-being, all your goals and dreams will fall into place.
When you make space for your well-being, all your goals and dreams will fall into place.
Here is a question from one of your biggest fans at UKG, Mac Cleary: When working on something for years, like advocating for pay equality or practicing for the World Cup, how does it feel to make progress or even achieve success on something you’ve been working toward for so long? There’s a funny thing that happens when you dream about something for so long and then accomplish it. From the top of the mountain is clarity—and you always see a greater mountain standing in front of you. Making it this far motivates you to climb on … to believe you can. But there is no feeling of glory or satisfaction for me in reaching a milestone. I focus on enjoying each step on the climb.
A few rapid-fire questions … What’s your go-to warm-up song? “Never Stop” by Future.
Favorite post-game meal: Rice bowl.
Best way to spend a day off: At the beach.
Hiking or rock climbing? Hiking.
Sunrise or sunset? Sunset.
Learn more about how UKG advocates for pay equity through our Close the Gap initiative.
UKG spoke with NWSL athlete Sydney Leroux in July.