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The enjoyment gap

No Woman Left Behind. It's up to all of us to close the gap.

A women works out during a boxing session

In 2015 This Girl Can changed the game

We inspired 2.9 million phenomenal women to get active in all their sweaty, jiggly glory.

Everyday women with relatable bodies gave judgement the finger and got moving in ways that worked for them.  

But despite this progress, there is still more to do.

Research shows that the pandemic and cost-of-living crisis have had a disproportionate impact on women. Meaning they have less to spend on weekly budgets and less time to spend on themselves.

As a result, their activity levels have fallen and show little sign of recovery. So how can we make a change? 

Our research shows 2.4m more men than women strongly agree that they enjoy sport and physical activity.

That’s 2.4m women missing out on the opportunity to relieve stress, build connections and improve self-esteem - to feel just a little more badass.

We call this the enjoyment gap.

What women have told us

We've heard from lots of women, we've listened, and we're here to give them a voice about what the barriers they face to getting active and why they're less likely to enjoy it as men. This is just some of what we've heard...


Every insecurity I’d ever had was so loud, and I just found it so dull. I was exercising to be skinny, not for enjoyment or fun.


I used to love running but was scared to go out to try as being a big girl some people think it’s funny to laugh and point at the wobbly bird attempting to run down the road in a red sweaty haze.


I always prioritised everything and everyone before myself. I felt I was trying to be a good mum, wife etc. and exercise always got left behind.


Let's close the enjoyment gap

Enjoyment is the biggest driver in engaging people in sport and activity, that’s why together, this is a gap we need to close.

Enjoyment doesn’t just mean making activity fun. It means making it enjoyable in all its wind-breaking, quietly chuffed, belly laughing, sweaty pits, thank God that’s over, life-affirming splendour.

It means not having to worry about intimidation. It means a catch up with friends, with a work-out on the side. It means feeling accepted for who you are. It means no woman left behind.

The enjoyment gap is not inevitable and is completely fixable by challenging the practical and structural obstacles that make activity feel less welcoming for women.

With you, we will reshape women’s experiences to welcome all women with open arms. With you, we will challenge one another to act on women’s needs. With you, we will change so that no woman is left behind. With you, we can make a real difference to how women experience activity.  

With you, This Girl Can.  

Find out how

A woman smiles in an exercise class

Download the essentials

We've created a summary of what we mean by The Enjoyment Gap, for you to easily download and refer back to later.