Little more than half (55%) of women agreed that it was clear how to report sexual harassment or intimidation at their fitness or leisure centre, though, with just 25% of those experiencing an incident, reporting it.
And with the weights section being a particularly common location for incidents to occur (39%), the guidance gives advice on how leisure facilities can help improve this.
- checklists on what a code of conduct should include
- details of how to communicate existing policies, codes of conduct and reporting procedures to members about sexual harassment
- details on what reporting processes should include and how to make sure they are easily accessible, so all members know how to report harassment and what to expect from the process.
Other research by The United Nations also shows that 71% of women, of all ages, have experienced some form of sexual harassment in a public space, and ukactive’s director of membership and sector development, Marianne Boyle, hopes more industries can play their role in tackling the issue.
“Working with This Girl Can, we continue to seek the views of women so we can support gyms and leisure centres with high quality and reliable insight to ensure women feel safer and more confident when using these facilities,” she said.
“There is already a significant amount of exemplary work taking place across the sector to address what is sadly a societal issue.
“With this guidance, our aim is to continue this journey of improvement and to increase women’s enjoyment of exercise by fostering an environment where they feel able to report incidents and feel safe in the knowledge that these issues will be taken seriously.
“Any form of harassment in gyms and leisure centres is totally unacceptable and we expect operators to take a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment and intimidation.
“The fitness and leisure sector is proud of the role it plays in supporting millions of women and girls to be active, and we all want to make sure that every one of them feels as safe and as confident as possible.”