Asking whether females can make a good career in the field of fitness and nutrition is like asking, if females can do weight training. The latter, being a myth, which has been cleared a number of times, but still remains as a doubt in many minds.
Similarly, in the 21st century, there is nothing called a man profession or a women profession. Skill wise, men & women may perform better in certain skills, but then the ratio is equal. None is better than the other. Because old thoughts die hard, that’s why these beliefs still remain in our subconscious mind. But these beliefs have been largely falsified.
I am not going to debate on the men vs women capability, because there is simply none left. What I am going to clear, once and for all, quite distinctly question, whether females can have a good and prosperous career, if they chose fitness or nutrition as their career path. Before we move on to know the detailed answer, the short one is, absolutely YES.
The world of strength training & fitness has been primarily dominated by males since a long time. Whereas nutrition was mainly ruled by the females. But the roles interchanged in the 21st century, and today its quite common to see excellent female strength coaches and male dieticians.
You often hear a common statement that there is a great scope of females in fitness. But I partly agree to this statement. The scope was always there, and will be there, it’s the exposure which has increased, because of the internet and social media, that is motivating women more towards this field.
Another statement you often hear in the same regard is that the demand for female fitness professionals is increasing because number of females enrolling in gyms and other fitness centers is increasing. This again is a partially true statement, as females are mostly comfortable with anyone who trains them or guides them well, be it males or females. Another example would be unisex salons, where females prefer males over other females for their hairdo and makeup in certain cases, because of better skills and more professionalism. Not that women are not professional, it simply means, females today don’t care more about the skill of the person than sex of the person.
Also, when you hear statements like “there is an increasing demand for female fitness professionals”, then remember, that there is an overall increase in the demand for fitness professionals across all sectors, irrespective of the sex. It is the apprehension in the minds of females for certain professions, which pulls them back from getting into them. But when females are working in space, flying the finest aircrafts, climbing the highest peaks, fighting battles, and achieving the greatest human feats, you think becoming a fitness professional is even a question anymore?
Also, why are these questions even there. Didn’t we have lady sports or PT teachers in schools. Is the fitness profession too different? No, it’s just a more refined form. Of course you have better education and exposure, but that is only when you want to get it. And this is the missing link no one talks about.
If we look at the fitness scenario in India, you would find most females choosing nutrition, or dance fitness like Zumba, aerobics etc., or yoga & Pilates as the their choice of careers in India. These fields are more dominated by females. But this is where I want to address the issue, especially in the Indian context.
Let me give you an example. In one of my gyms Body Mechanics, sometime back a female member, who was quite strong and knowledgeable approached me on how to enhance her knowledge in this field and eventually may take this as her career. She was from a very good family, an engineer by qualification, but her passion was quite strong. I told her the options she had in terms of personal training certifications, but I counselled her on what she should choose as her path in fitness as a profession. I wanted her to be a strength coach, or at least be well versed with the strength training aspects like other male coaches. She did the same, and despite of her family’s disbelief in this career, she did wonderfully well to a level, that most males wanted to train under her, because she was a no-nonsense coach, who knew her stuff. Most of the times she has more personal coaching clients than other male coaches.
Now, this is what I want with females in India, who want to take up fitness as a career. Firstly, when you enter a career, then think about that career, not your sex, or what may suit you because you are female. This country lacks strong female coaches big time. It’s rare to find female strength coaches or even personal trainers in most gyms in India, because somewhere the feminist question comes in the minds of females, and they switch to other softer looking fields in fitness.
Why? Why are you doing that? This segment of market is already saturated, why do you want to get into one and be in the rat race? Choose the field, which looks more intimidating and daring, and you will reap greater rewards.
Now, build a portfolio which is strong enough in terms of theoretical credentials and then learn the skills of fitness business and marketing, about which I have already spoken about in detail. But when you do all this, forget what sex you belong to. There are some great female fitness professionals in India and abroad, which you can take as an example, to know how these females build their fitness empires.
Learn, learn, learn, and then apply, apply, apply. This is common for anyone who wants to build a great career in fitness, irrespective of sex.