At major championships, the women's equivalent of the decathlon is the seven-event heptathlon; prior to 1980 it was the five-event pentathlon.
Women's disciplines differ from men's in the same way as for standalone events: the shot, discus and javelin weigh less, and the sprint hurdles uses lower hurdles over 100 m rather than 110 m. The points tables used are the same as for the heptathlon in the shared events.
The schedule of events differs from the men's decathlon, with the field events switched between day one and day two; this is to avoid scheduling conflicts when men's and women's decathlon competitions take place simultaneously.
Although the women’s ten-event decathlon has been an official “IAAF” event since 2004, it has not yet replaced the seven-event heptathlon at Olympic Games and World Championships.
The first world record in the women's decathlon was recognized by the IAAF in 2004.
Marie Collonvillé (FRA) was the first-ever IAAF-recognised world record holder in the women's decathlon; the event was officially recognised from 1 January 2005, and her mark of 8160 points set in Talence on 26 September 2004 was broken by Austra Skujytė on 15 April 2005.
Austra Skujytė is a Lithuanian athlete, competing in both the heptathlon and the decathlon. On 15 April 2005 in Columbia, Missouri, she broke the women's decathlon world record, with a score of 8358. Skujytė's individual performances were as follows: 100 m – 12,49 sec; long jump – 6.12 m; shot put – 16.42 m; high jump – 1.78 m; 400 m – 57,19 sec; 100 m hurdles – 14,22 sec; discus – 46.19 m; pole vault – 3.10 m; javelin – 48.78 m; 1500 m, 5.15,86 sec.