The Episode: Inclusivity In The Fitness Industry
The issue of diversity and inclusion stretches far beyond the reaches of the fitness industry but is very prominently present in our field too. In this episode, we get into the pervasive nature of othering, the historical standards that have informed the inequality we still see today, and the micro-aggressions and that many people of color have to endure on a constant basis. Transformation is a necessary challenge for professionals to confront in this space, so join us to hear some thoughts on a way forward.
In This Episode
- How the fitness industry reflects society at large [0:09:37]
- The importance of diversity in industries such as health and wellness [0:12:17]
- Appropriate and authentic responses to inequality [0:17:42]
- The pressing issue of representation in the training industry [0:20:11]
- How client-centered work can help steer the ship [0:24:19]
- Examples of the othering of indigeneity [0:28:02]
“You have to be really, really careful in how you assess somebody for a position because oftentimes the conventional way to assess somebody for a position is completely irrelevant to the job.” — Jonathan Goodman
The Monolithic Nature of the Fitness Industry
The fitness industry has historically been centered around white males, and even today, there seems to be more exclusion than inclusion in the space. The issue is also reflected in qualifications and representation, with diversity and equality being more of an anomaly than anything else. Real meaningful change will take time and considered effort from the people that make up the industry at large, and there is still a long way to go to reach a better status quo.
More Inclusive Hiring Practices
There are many assumptions that underlie interview processes, and many of these are not even related to the job. Part of what needs to happen is these assumptions need to be checked and care needs to be taken in challenging the way these processes have been practiced. It can be quite difficult to put together diverse teams and panels, as the lack of opportunities afforded to minorities has lead to unequal skills and a lack of practice.
Taking Action for Representation and Opportunity
Real change needs to be more than a public relations stunt, it needs to be authentic. We cannot continue to have panels and events that have the same people represented over and again when there are others that need to be given a chance. This starts with reassessing commonly held assumptions, and as trainers, another great guiding force can be to remain focussed on each client. A client-centric approach can help direct your efforts in a more inclusive direction.
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