Supporting DEI efforts is a long-term commitment and to be effective, you must seek out resources and individuals who speak to DEI and who resonate with you. Follow them, digest their content, lean into their experiences, and invest in learning.
Agreed by all panelists was the importance of finding a mentor for yourself and providing mentorship opportunities to others to learn from the marginalized experiences of others.
Promote Your Year-round DEI Initiatives Greater Impact
While representation is important, if we do not act consciously, consistently, and respectfully, it can be harmful and fall short of the difference it should foster. Andriana reminded fitness professionals to not only produce and share content during an awareness month. Instead, she said awareness months should be used to draw attention to everything you are doing year-round to support DEI.
“Social should be your last frontier for DEI. Everything should be happening internally within the organization and not for the sake of being shared. If you’re authentic and really taking DEI efforts, it will naturally be seen, felt, heard,” Portia shared.
Creating a more inclusive fitness industry is everyone’s responsibility. This work can be challenging, and we all have as much unlearning to do as we have learning.
“In order to grow, you need to be willing to get uncomfortable,” said Samantha. But in doing so, Adriana added, “[you never know how] you can be that catalyst for someone else just by showing up.”
I noted in the webinar, “As a fitness education company, we take on the responsibility to build awareness of the effects of unconscious bias and systemic racism in our industry—experienced by both fitness professionals and fitness consumers. Embracing diversity is not only a competitive advantage for any business but also a vital core value.”
canfitpro regularly hosts webinars with topics ranging from DEI, the fitness industry outlook, how to build, foster, and nurture a culture of belonging in the workplace, and more.