There are too few female personal trainers says leading personal trainer academy The Training Room. Figures from Skills Active show that of the total 13,486 personal trainers registered with the Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs), 5,203 are women. Put another way, around 65% of PTs are men and only around 35% are women.
“We train around 2,500 people each year and there is no doubt that personal training as a profession is growing healthily,” says Lucy Jackson, head of training at The Training Room. “However, like the rest of the industry, the percentage of women on our courses is low at around 22% and that’s something we want to change,” she says.
Sue Tibballs, Chief Executive of the Women’s Sport and Fitness Foundation would also like to see more female personal trainers. “We know that women and girls need strong sporting role models to inspire them to get fit and more female personal trainers can only be a good thing,” she says. “It’s a great time for women to get involved in the fitness industry - successful female athletes, like Jessica Ennis and Laura Trott, have made it aspirational to be fit and healthy and women’s fitness is finally entering the mainstream.”
Flexible career choice
Personal training is a very flexible career option for women, with the majority being self-employed. Women juggling childcare have ample opportunity to teach classes and coach clients one-to-one during school hours and many find early or late shifts allow them to work flexi-hours.
“We have women of all ages completing our courses – from college leavers and university graduates to mothers and returners to work in their 30s, 40s and 50s” says Lucy. The more mature students are often seeking a job to fit around their family or as a supplementary income and these ladies bring a huge amount of life skill and empathy to their work,” she says.
“The fitness industry offers excellent career opportunities for women,” agrees Sue Tibballs who adds: “Making young people more aware of these career options would be a great way to keep girls more engaged in sport at school, which is a time when a gender gap in participation starts to emerge.”