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29 Jul 2022

Global fitness industry remains 'male dominated' according to new research
BY Tom Walker

The survey shows that only 29 per cent of gym owners are female

The survey shows that only 29 per cent of gym owners are female
photo: Shutterstock/PeopleImages.com - Yuri A

Nearly half (47 per cent) of men employed by fitness companies work in leadership roles – while for women, the figure is just 36 per cent.

The data comes from a survey on gender equality in the fitness industry, conducted by Sport Alliance and the Women in Fitness Association (WIFA), which suggests that further work is needed to achieve equality for women in the sector.

According to the Gender Equality in the Fitness Industry 2022 report, men currently make up 70 per cent of the cohort of gym owners.

The report also found that leadership positions are harder to achieve for women.

As the major obstacles for reaching their career goals, people cited feeling underestimated and not respected and having low chances of getting promoted.

Women also highlighted the fact that it is hard to combine family and work.

For women who are in leadership positions, 27 per cent said their path to becoming a leader was more difficult because of their gender. By contrast, among men, only 7 per cent cite this as a reason.

Female leaders feel that gender imbalance in the workplace results in lower opportunities for promotion, gender discrimination and a lower salary for women.

When asked about gender bias in their company, 82 per cent of men responded that there is none. For women, the figure was lower at 64 per cent.

Maike Kumstel, Sport Alliance, said: "These data show the trend that men are more likely to be in leadership roles in businesses than women.

"Among the self-employed, most women are trainers rather than running their own businesses."

Artur Jagiello from Sport Alliance, added: "Being a boss in 2022 is unfortunately still a male domain.

"As non-executives, men and women face similar obstacles in their career paths. But as you climb the career ladder, the gender gap becomes more pronounced, resulting in disadvantages for women.

“Only when there is awareness of the current situation, can something be changed.

"Some companies have already initiated strategies and actions to address the issue, knowing that something needs to be done to improve equality in the fitness industry. However, as in many other industries, there is still a long way to go.”

The report was based on a global online survey of fitness professionals, conducted between September 2021 and March 2022, with a total of 679 people taking part.

To read more and to download the full report – click here. https://www.sportalliance.com/en/press/the-fitness-industry-remains-male-dominated/



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