“Are we part of the solution or are we part of the problem?”
Jacqueline Hooton, WIFE Conference Founder
Saturday 7th March marked a day for Women in the fitness industry. Thirteen women stood strong at the front of the Holiday Inn Guildford conference room sharing their stories, successes, business know how and most importantly their passion, so we sent along our very own Customer Experience Executive and Personal Trainer Raschique Narwan along to the event to find out more.
The WIFE conference was a day dedicated to empower, motivate and encourage females working in the fitness industry. Jacqueline Hooton brought together an array of speakers and presenters who have been highly successful in business within the fitness. We asked Jacqueline what inspired her to put together the WIFE Conference. She said,
“I really wanted to provide a platform for women to speak in the industry, because I don’t think there are enough women that are vocal enough and I don’t enough of them speaking out in the industry. I think we have enough issues, unique issues, perhaps we want to address and I wanted to give women an opportunity to come together to express that.
She continued to say:
“I think a couple of the speakers today have touched on this, this morning; there is a really strong male rhetoric in the industry. We don’t need to resort to speaking in a manly way; Christianne was talking about that as well. We can still talk to people in fitness but use a feminine language that people can relate to.”
Key themes of authenticity, fearlessness and passion threaded through every speaker and presentation. The event was fearless to address issues that are unique to women but are ignored in the mainstream representation of the fitness industry; mental health, the visual representation of women in fitness across social media platforms, eating disorders, and spirituality in fitness. Every speaker was unique, honest and forthcoming in sharing their experiences, tips and advice.
From a business perspective, the information and advice relayed to delegates was useful and tunnelled towards the needs of the many roles women in fitness fulfil; friend, motivator, confidant, life coach to name a few.
In my opinion, this event will be a huge inspiration for newbies joining the fitness industry and is a think tank for those who are already in the industry. You will walk away from this event on a mission to making that fantastic idea, that’s been stored at the back of your mind, into a reality.
You can read the rest of Jacqueline Hooton’s interview below.
For more information on the WIFE conference and future events: www.wifeconference.co.uk
For EducatedFit training enquires: www.educatedfit.com
For more insight on each speakers success and advice, blog updates and helpful information, follow me on twitter @thechiqueexpo.
Why do you feel it is important to have an all female event?
“There are plenty events in the industry but I found myself, when I go to events, the they are very often very male dominated. They are male dominated as in terms of delegates and I as I look around the room as a woman I can be in the minority and as speakers I find that there is all male speakers. So, I wanted to provide a place where women feel comfortable together and you haven’t got that different language that I think so often happens you go to another conference or seminar, and we start talking the guy language again and I don’t tank women need to go there. Women, we have our own unique language. Let’s get together, let’s use the language we comfortable with because we don’t need to litter it with swear words and all the rest of it. Let’s just be comfortable as women.”
What can woman in the fitness industry do to support movements like the WIFE conference? What can we do in our daily lives to help other women in the industry and ourselves?
“I think we need to stop and recognise, as I said in our opening presentation, are we part of the solution or are we apart of the problem? Some of the things I would like to see us addressing are the image being put out there in the name of the fitness which looks more like the soft porn industry. It’s about inclusion, equality, diversity we want to encourage everybody to embrace health and fitness. We don’t want to look like ware an exclusive tribe and you have to look a certain way to be a part of us. I think a lot of women who work in fitness also feel that pressure; they have to rock up looking like a fitness model every day. I have had women say that to me before; they have got some of the biggest client bases but because they are a bit curvy people think you can’t be in the fitness industry; yes they can, because they use a language that women relate to and their male clients of course.”
What females in the industry inspire you?
“Well the speakers that are here today. Rachel Holmes has just given a really inspirational powerful, upbeat presentation talking about the use of social media and she’s right on the ball with that social media. Charlotte Ord again this morning, I’ve watched charlotte’s progress over many years now and think she shows real integrity of what she does in the industry. All of our speakers are fantastic. Jenny Burrell unfortunately, couldn’t come today; she was double booked but she is a female to look at in terms in what she has done, the target group that she has gone for looking at female health, and how she has built that business and how she hasn’t gone the male route of doing. She recognised the feminine qualities that she brings to training as a trainer and as a training provider and speaks to that audience.”
What can our REPs members do to get involved in the WIFE conference?
“We hope this is the first of many events. I’d like to see the wife conference taking place annually, and our WIFE seminars around the country. My talk this afternoon is going to about speaking and training as a tutor and to encourage other women to take that professional level and start teaching, and start having a voice out there. We would like to have WIFE Speakers. We would like encourage woman to do that, and get the training as a tutor and part of my training company as EducatedFit is training people to be trainers because that’s my expertise.”