This month, we asked Gauri Harrison, of Paramount Recreation in Revelstoke and Qualicum Beach, B.C. to write a guest post for us.
Gauri's been doing amazing work reaching out to female workers in the pool and spa industry, and we wanted to shine a light on that. She's also an expert in the pool and spa industry and is a valued colleague.
You can follow Paramount Recreation on Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok and if you are in the Revelstoke or Qualicum Beach area, you can purchase Ocion Blue for your pool, hot tub, or swim spa directly from them.
Women in the Pool and Spa Industry
As of 2022 there were 26 million functioning Hot Tubs in the world & although it is a struggle to find a statistical count of Pools its safe to say that number is astronomical! It is projected that the pool and spa industry will grow in value by 4 billion dollars USD in the next 3 years.
With women driving 70-80% of global purchasing decisions it is a wonder why the Pool and Spa Industry hasn’t shifted it’s marketing fundamentally to cater to women buyers. This means moving away from the “sex sells” imagery and focusing on lifestyle benefits that directly speak to the female buyer. As a former journalist and marketing professional who has just completed 15 years of retail ownership in the Pool and Spa world, these issues kept me up at night. Day in and day out I was reminded how male dominated our industry is. On the average day, if there wasn’t a manufacturing VP referring to me as “honey,” there was a customer joking about why I wasn’t sitting in the spa in a bikini. This treatment and off the cuff humour was getting old quick.
Finally I realized that it was OK for me to object to how I was being treated, and I started to look closely at the part women play in this industry as whole. The reality is, the administrators, accounts departments, shipping and receiving, sales and marketing departments were and continue to be flooded with women. We have women CEO’s and female marketing leads, along with women in factories and behind the transportation wheel.
So why are we still being objectified when it comes to the culture of this industry?
A very astute female colleague recently begged the question, “who have we learned from? Who are we modelling?.” Although this industry is well diversified, it is still young, and we are following in the footsteps of the men that have helmed the ship from the get go.
In response to this I have started the International Association of Women in the Pool and Spa Industry. An online safe space for women in our industry to network, promote one another and have a good honest vent from time to time. As time goes by our members are working towards creating an official organization featuring a female only job board, business directory, and think tank aimed at steering marketing with women in mind.
The road will be long, and the battle uphill, but if there is a reality in which I will pass on my business to my daughter one day, it’s best I start to try to turn the tide today.
If you are a woman in the Pool and Spa Industry we would love for you to join us! Find us on Facebook at : Women in the Pool and Spa Industry.