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Pure Gym CEO: We’re not a sexist company

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The new CEO of Pure Gym Humphrey Cobbold has said claims the chain is sexist “couldn’t be further from the truth,” adding that the company has learned valuable lessons from its recent brush with controversy.

The 92-site low cost chain hit the headlines this week, after it emerged that a glitch in computer systems meant all members using the title ‘Dr’ were assumed to be male. The fault came to light after paediatrician Louise Selby was unable to access the female changing rooms at Pure Gym in Cambridge, as the computer system had registered her as being male.

Speaking to Health Club Management Cobbold said that subsequent claims Pure Gym is a sexist company were completely wide of the mark.

“There is certainly no intention on our part to be sexist. There are currently more than 200,000 female members of Pure Gym and a large proportion of our staff are female and are absolutely an integral and essential part of our business,” he said.

“This was a software glitch which we take full responsibility for and are working hard to rectify, but we’re not a sexist company at all and actually it’s been heartening to see lots of our members reiterate this in the comment sections of articles.”

Cobbold declined to name the provider of the software and said the chain wouldn’t be switching as a result of the error. “Ultimately the buck stops with us and it’s our responsibility to ensure all components function as they should,” he added.

The CEO has personally telephoned Dr Selby to apologise for the error and offered a free six-month membership for her and a friend. He said Dr Selby had accepted his apology and hopes that she will continue to be a member of Pure Gym.

“We had a civilised discussion and I explained how the error came about,” said Cobbold. “We’ve learned that in an organisation such as ours it’s absolutely crucial to get even the smallest details right, but ultimately, I’m pleased with the way the team have responded to the issue and we’re working hard to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

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The new CEO of Pure Gym Humphrey Cobbold has said claims the chain is sexist “couldn’t be further from the truth,” adding that the company has learned valuable lessons from its recent brush with controversy.
Humphrey Cobbold (right) succeeded Peter Roberts (left) as Pure Gym CEO in January


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