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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

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People profile: Lindsey Rainwater

Founder: Women in Fitness Association

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 2
Rainwater is on a mission to connect women in fitness globally, and grow the WIFA member base
Rainwater is on a mission to connect women in fitness globally, and grow the WIFA member base
A couple of years ago, I attended a women’s leadership summit at IHRSA. I really enjoyed being in a room with female business leaders and left inspired to do more of that kind of activity, but couldn’t find an outlet

What’s the Women in Fitness Association?
It is a networking group for women in the fitness industry. The aim is to connect women globally, provide career resources, networking opportunities, mentorship and discounts from our affiliate partners.

Benefits include members having access to a monthly webinar where we discuss and share insights on relevant topics, such as women in leadership, group exercise, pay structure, starting their own businesses and how to get motivated in the new year.

Members can also join our quarterly webinar, where women business leaders talk about their careers and what it’s like to do their job. One of my favourite aspects is our networking programme – where members are introduced to four other members a year and given some conversation prompts – as I’ve been frustrated in the past when I’ve joined networking groups but not met people.

Why did you launch WIFA?
A couple of years ago, I attended a women’s leadership summit at IHRSA. I really enjoyed being in a room with female business leaders and left inspired to do more of that kind of activity, but couldn’t find an outlet.

This coincided with my first year of being a mother and I really wanted to talk to other women who had experienced the issue of balancing working with having children. It compounded my idea that a forum such as this was needed. After running the idea by a couple of my associates, I launched WIFA as a non-profit organisation in June 2017.

How has it grown since then?
We now have 350 members around the world, with a good following in America, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and a few in the UK. We’re also keen to expand our UK membership and attract women from other countries.

We’re relying on volunteers, our members and our 15 sponsors to help spread the word, as well as appointing volunteer ambassadors to network and build up the membership base.

What are the criteria for joining the organisation?
You just need to be a woman working in the fitness industry, so it doesn’t matter if you teach one yoga class a week or run 100 clubs. It costs $99 a year to join, and there are discounts on this to make it relevant in other countries.

What are your aims?
In 2019 one of our aims for WIFA will be to create alliances with more companies to give our members a range of discounts, for example on access to conferences.

By the end of the year I would like to have 1,000 members across the globe.

Ultimately, I want it to feel that it’s a valuable organisation to be part of – for example, if one of our members sees another woman is a member that they will feel comfortable approaching them as being a member of the same tribe.

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After attending a women’s leadership summit at IHRSA, Lindsey Rainwater was inspired to start the Women in Fitness Association. She tells us more about her mission to grow the organisation globally...
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