You have questions, we have answers. This month we spoke with Lindsey Rainwater, the founder of the Women in Fitness Association (WIFA), about strategies for supporting women leaders.
What was your inspiration for founding WIFA? LR: WIFA was founded out of an inspiration to create a place for women to gather and share inspiration, mentorship and be in community with one another.
What is WIFA’s purpose and mission? LR: The vision and mission for our association is that every woman professionally representing our industry can find her place and rise to her fullest potential. Our aim is to see more women in the boardroom, championing each other to achieve and sharing success through collaboration.
What are benefits to companies having a diverse leadership team that includes women? LR: Considering that women make up 80 percent of purchasing decisions in the average household, having female representation at the table provides a well-rounded perspective within any business. It is also easier for most women to act from a place of emotional intelligence, being able to leverage their emotions in a positive manner to have empathy and relate to a consumer, employee or opportunity. Diversity for both the representation of women, but also age and other points of diversity, so that all perspectives are represented, is good business practice.
In what ways can the health club industry better support women? LR: I don’t know that it’s an opportunity to get better as much as it is an opportunity for awareness. I do see many more women getting opportunities within organizations — the opportunity is to continue to generate awareness and give women with the qualifications and capabilities of being in high-ranking leadership roles the spotlight so that they can rise. Because so many of the positions in the past were held by men, it will just take time for those positions to turn over and opportunities made available to women.