There was a time when the fitness world was a boys' club dominated by bodybuilding bros and pro athletes who weren't so welcoming of women. But nowadays, the fitness industry is basically run by women. Think about it: The top boutique workout companies (like SoulCycle and ClassPass) were founded by women, and many well-respected trainers and fitness professionals just so happen to be women.
But even as we've carved out space in this realm, many of us still have to deal with sexist stereotypes when it comes to athleticism and earning potential (yes, the gender wage gap in sports and fitness is real). Women face a complicated double-standard when it comes to exercise, because being physically strong and outwardly muscular is often seen as unfeminine or unbecoming of a woman. Thankfully, there are plenty of fierce women who have dedicated their careers to challenging this stigma.
So, to celebrate women's achievements in fitness, we asked top influencers and experts in the industry to lift up other women (so to speak) by sharing who's inspiring them right now.
In honor of International Women’s Day, Refinery29 is asking women to pay-it-forward by endorsing a female colleague or expert in their field. Head here to discover inspiring women across all of the categories R29 covers.