From Our Founder: Why ClassPass Supports International Women’s Day

I grew up in Randolph, New Jersey, raised by two incredible parents who immigrated from Gujarat, India in the 1970s. It was their bravery and their hope for their children—especially their daughters—to live a full life by following their hearts and trusting our unique gifts, that led me to become an entrepreneur.

Creating ClassPass was a way for me to give others the same opportunity. My hope is that ClassPass encourages people across the globe—from New York to Australia—to stay healthy and discover fitness experiences that enrich their day-to-day. As a female business leader that now employs more than 150 women—all at varying points in their career—it’s important that ClassPass takes a moment on International Women’s Day to remember where we came from, where we’re headed and what women still need to fight for, both in their personal and professional lives.

At ClassPass on March 8, we’re inviting our employees to observe the day in whatever form feels right to them. Whether striking from all labor, attending marches or proceeding with business as usual, the team at ClassPass fully supports one another. We’re also hosting a Town Hall for employees to discuss issues that are meaningful to them, and to brainstorm ways in which ClassPass can become a stronger leader in our community.

After all, ClassPass is a company founded by women, whose customers are primarily women, and which is built by women and men who support gender parity. On March 8 and every day, we stand in unwavering support of women everywhere. To celebrate International Women’s Day, and the accompanying A Day Without a Woman, here are some ways you can also get involved in efforts:

Sign up for a rally in New York and San Francisco

We’re making it easier for you to attend demonstrations in your own community. If you are in New York or San Francisco, you can find information about local marches on the ‘Home’ tab of our iOS and Android apps. We invite you to attend, and to make a reservation in solidarity so your friends on ClassPass can see. (Absolutely no fees of any kind will be incurred, don’t worry!) If you’re in New York, I look forward to seeing you there!

If you’re not on one of these coasts, you can still find and attend a demonstration in your city.

Take a class at a female-owned studio.

For the second year, our blog, The Warm Up is excited to feature one female studio owner in each of our 39 cities. These women have incredible stories and continue to support others in their hometowns. I’m so inspired by their mission and dedication.

Part of celebrating International Women’s Day is to avoid shopping for those 24 hours, unless at a woman or minority-owned business, and by booking a class with these studios (or other ones you find), you’re becoming part of the cause.

(And psst: you can wear red to illustrate your support, too!)

Talk to your friends and family.

Do your best friends inspire you to not only make it to a tough class, but also inspire you to be bolder, dream bigger and love harder? I try and take time to thank the important women in my life and on this day, I make a bigger effort. I encourage you to do the same – to your mother, your sister, your female coworkers or boss, any woman who makes a difference in your life.

Happy International Women’s Day! 

Payal Kadakia is the Founder & Executive Chairman of ClassPass and the artistic director of The Sa Dance Company. She’s been a ‘dancetrepreneur’ since the age of 3 and has been dancing for more than 25 years.