Women dominate the wellness industry, asserts Beth McGroarty, director of research at the Global Wellness Institute. “Not only are women large consumers in the world of wellness, but this has been one of the industries that has the most female CEOs and founders,” she says.
The proof is in the chia seed pudding. Women are starting a slew of new businesses, according to a 2017 report by American Express, and a good chunk of those are in the wellness sector, which GWI say is a $4.2 trillion industry.
"You’d be hard-pressed to name another multi-trillion-dollar industry where women represent the 'majority shareholders,' comprising most of the inventors, entrepreneurs, and practitioners — whether in fitness, mind-body, spa, wellness travel, or as HR leaders running workplace wellness programs," the GWI stated in their 2018 trends report. "At the invite-only 2017 Global Wellness Summit for the world’s top wellness leaders, 56% of the delegates were women," the report continued.
The fact is, women have long been change-makers in the world of health. And unfortunately, much of their involvement has been borne by need. “Feminists started the first wellness clinics to make up for the lack of sexual education and information about women’s bodies.” McGroarty says as an example.
Today, women still report feeling ignored or misunderstood by doctors and the medical establishment. The gender pain gap is still prevalent. And it may be part of the reason so many have taken their wellbeing into their own hands and started health-related companies.
The wellness industry spans a wide range of products and experiences — everything from FemTech to athleisure to functional food to travel services. And people who identify as women have their hand in every nook and cranny of the sector. It's impossible to call out every woman-led organisation that's doing amazing things in this space. But we did our best, naming a few standouts that you need in your life right now.