Name and role
Olivia Tyler, Fitness Manager at Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Club Cambridge.
What do you do at Nuffield Health?
I am the Fitness Manager at Nuffield Health Fitness and Wellbeing Club in Cambridge. I joined there in September 2018 and I manage all the personal trainers; nutritional therapists and I manage the studio coordinator. I am also an instructor for Ballet Fit.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
For me, International Women’s Day is a chance to keep women’s rights and gender equality in the front of people’s minds. It is chance to think about and celebrate women who, sometimes unknowingly, do a lot for the cause and don’t expect any recognition in return.
When I lived in London, I didn’t see the gender inequality as much as I do now. I had rarely come across gender stereotypes, especially in the workplace. Now I have moved out of the city, I see the importance of celebrating women’s achievements much more and appreciate that we have the opportunity to do so.
What do you think is the biggest challenge for women today and what has been your biggest challenge?
I think the biggest challenge for women is to be seen as equal to men.
In my experience of the workplace, it is not my colleagues but members of the public who enforce gender stereotypes. I often find that when someone asks to speak with the manager and I turn up, a young, blonde woman, they find it hard to associate me with a position of authority. They often want to talk to a ‘different manager’, which often means someone who is male or older.
Sometimes I find these challenges to be a great way to prove myself, to prove that I know what I am doing and that my professionalism has nothing to do with what I look like or the fact that I am a young woman. However, it is frustrating because I shouldn’t have to do that.
I think another challenge is that people can assume you have been promiscuous to get a role, rather than based on your ability. It’s really disappointing when you have worked really hard to get somewhere, but the effort isn’t valued. It is disappointing we, as women, often still have to experience these attitudes.
Which woman has inspired you and why?
I have three women who have inspired me.
The first one is Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister for Scotland. I think that she presents herself well and accepts her femininity, while also being a great politician. She holds her own against her male colleagues, placing herself equal to them in a largely male dominated sector. You don’t think that ‘she is a good politician for a woman’ she is just a strong and successful person.
I am also inspired by our nutritional therapist, Anna Pew, she is so good at her job, she is practically a magician! Her reputation as a great nutritional therapist surpasses any gender discrimination.
Finally, I am inspired everyday by my mum. She has had six children and has sacrificed a massive amount of her life for her children. I’m not sure I could be that brave and I am just grateful every day for her.
Last updated Friday 6 March 2020
First published on Thursday 5 March 2020