Planet Fitness’ Bold Move: New CEO Aims to Revamp Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Amid Transgender Locker Room Debate

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Planet Fitness’ stock value fell by $400 million after gym goers boycotted it over its transgender policy. The company announced Tuesday that it has hired a new chief executive officer who has experience in promoting DEI (diversity equity and inclusion ).

Colleen K. Keating has been the CEO of FirstKey Homes for four years. She signed the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusivity pledge, which commits to “continue striving for equality in our workplace through hiring talent with a DE&I emphasis to find talent from a variety of locations and backgrounds”, according to The New York Post.

In a LinkedIn post two years ago, she stated that she took the CEO DEI Pledge “to solidify her unwavering dedication to #diversity and #equity in the workplace and the communities we serve.”

It was an honor to participate in this important discussion, along with my colleagues who are equally committed to creating workplaces of trust. We will expand and implement education on unconscious bias. We will share our best practices, lessons, and information, to develop strategic plans that include and promote diversity.

Keating stated in an interview with Triple Pundit in 2022 that a corporate DEI campaign shouldn’t be just a “flash in the pan”, but should instead “start by weaving DEI in a company’s culture fabric and demonstrate clearly in words, and actions throughout the organization.” “If we do not see DEI as an individual program, but as a corporate imperative, DEI won’t be a failure.

When Planet Fitness was asked for comment about Keating’s appointment it pointed to the press release it issued announcing Keating’s hiring.

Stephen Spinelli Jr. stated in a statement to the press that “Colleen’s deep operational know-how, strategic mindset and her understanding of large scale franchise operations and consumer-facing brands made her standout amongst other applicants considered.” Colleen has a proven track record of building teams that are results-driven and creating cultures where operational excellence is valued. She’s a great asset to Planet Fitness. She has the necessary experience and a culture-first mentality to accelerate Planet Fitness into its next phase.

The Post reports that Planet Fitness’ shares have fallen another 1.7% in the past week.

Patricia Silva, a customer at Planet Fitness Fairbanks in Alaska, was the first to be outraged when she told her story of a man shaving his penis in the women’s restroom in front of a 12-year-old girl.

In an X video, a 67-year-old said: “Planet Fitness defends the men with a penis who use women’s changing rooms. It’s the child in the corner sitting with a towel around her that should be defended.”

Planet Fitness has revoked Silva’s membership for taking photos of other gym-goers. They claim that this is against their policy.

Silva’s encounter wasn’t the first time that the international fitness franchise faced a similar situation.

Christopher Miller was arrested by North Carolina Police on April 4th for performing an indecent act in a Planet Fitness women’s restroom. The 38-year-old stripped off his clothing and invited teenagers to shower with him while claiming he was a woman.

The Post stated that Miller did not indicate he was transgender at the time he barged into the changing rooms. Miller had been held in Gaston County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

A 25-year-old man was arrested in the fall for allegedly exposing himself to a 15-year-old girl in a Planet Fitness gym in Georgia. Layton Kessler from North Dakota was also arrested after installing recording devices at another gym location.

Jeremiah Wiltfong, 30, was arrested by local police in Michigan during the winter for masturbating while sitting in a Planet Fitness Parking Lot. The man recorded women passing by.

Planet Fitness lets its members choose the locker room they want based on their “self-reported” gender. This includes bathrooms, showers, and other facilities that are divided by sex.