It’s a tale as old as time – women fighting against the assumption that they are weaker than men, women trying to rise in the ranks in a primarily male-dominated industry. And the battle is making progress, but it isn’t over yet…
Many of us love scuba diving, and since the early 1940’s, it has been a primarily male-dominated sport.
These past few years, however, more women than ever have jumped, rolled, swam and splashed their way into the diving world.
Gone are the days when men rule the ocean. With the growing demographics of women in scuba, an evolution is taking place in the diving industry, leading to new and exciting pathways for females in this discipline. Thanks to many empowering movements, significant changes are happening, and this comes during a time where diversity is needed to craft and shape the future of our sport.
Having been a recreational female scuba diver for over ten years, even I have seen a shift in the involvement and a shift in perception towards women. Check out some of the positive impacts that have taken shape for female scuba divers over the years:
Because of the growing popularity of scuba diving and its female fan base, so too are the number of women role models. There is a whole slew of influential female stars in the spotlight. Take Jill Heinerth one of the top female cave divers in the world or Becky Kagan Schott an Emmy Award-winning underwater cinematographer and photographer for example.
And let’s not forget arguably one of the most celebrated women in diving of all time – the mother of the ocean herself – Sylvia Earle.
Don’t get me wrong as a woman it’s still sometimes a battle to find properly fitting equipment, but compared to several years ago the sizing and choices for women have made so much positive progress!
Take a look at all this colorful equipment geared towards females. It’s fun, it flashy and it’s eye captivating for any young girl hoping to one day take to the sea.
We look forward to seeing what dive products manufacturers will have in store for women in the future!
As with everything else, technology and social media have begun to transform the diving industry over the past decade, giving us new ways to experience the sport and encouraging more girls to give diving a try.
Take Girls that Scuba, for instance, a network of incredible women all over the world coming together to help and support each other in their passion for diving. This group has quickly risen to over 25, 000 members making it the largest female-only dive community in the world.
Girl power is a mantra that takes many different shapes and forms. In the scuba diving industry, this mantra comes to life on a designated Saturday in mid-July when dive shops all over the world celebrate women and diving.
This important day has become a success with ladies all over the world. Since the first Women’s Dive Day back in 2014 there has been a 2.2% increase in females getting a PADI recreational diving certification.
As time pushes on, the amount of women learning to dive is moving forward in leaps and bounds, but there is still much progress to be made. According to the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) in 2016, 68% of all scuba diving participants remain male, and these numbers pale when looking at professional divers.
If we want our dive industry to continue to grow and thrive, we need to help everybody move past the token representation of women. Perhaps this, in turn, will flow beyond the tidelines of our ocean and may eventually shape the world outside the sport we all know and love.
As a closing thought for all you women who have struggled through trials and tribulations while trying to succeed in the scuba diving world – you are not alone. Don’t get discouraged and don’t give up. We are stronger and more resilient than we think. Everytime you hit the water, feel empowered because you know what – making it in the scuba diving industry was harder for us than men will ever understand.
Where will you be celebrating Women’s International Dive Day this year? Let us know in the comments below!
Writers Note: Thank you to the Girls that Scuba group for their ongoing support for women in diving. It’s empowering to see what we can accomplish when we all come together. Photo credit goes out to Girls that Scuba, PADI, Jill Heinerth, and Scuba. Pro
Offering topside beauty and underwater magic, escape to Florida's freshwater springs and snorkel with one of the most majestic marine mammals on the planet.
If marine animals could talk here's what they would say to scuba divers this Valentine’s Day.
There are many ways to fight back against pollution and on Bonaire, this takes the form of scuba diving cleanups.
Hair vs scuba, now that's a combination that doesn't mix. So how do you stay away from the tares, tangles and hours upon hours of post dive hair brushing?
Bask in warm water bliss as you explore the tropical dive facility of TODI. From pufferfish to piranha let the flurry of freshwater color envelop you.
When you can’t be frolicking at the beach, why not bring the beach home to you with these festive sand dollar shortbread cookies.
Are you a pig on air? You are not alone. Find out how you can get more out of your scuba diving tank.
Florida may be known for its ocean coast, but this southern state is also home to some of the best spring and cave systems in the country.
Some people go to Brussels for the waffles, others go for the impressive architecture scene. Scuba divers go to Brussels to dive in the Nemo 33 indoor pool.
The Mediterranean oasis of Spain's Costa Brava is a delight for divers. With wreck dives, shore dives and wall dives just off the coast, to truly explore this destination you must take to the sea.
Ikelite photography strobe DS161 with NiMH rechargeable battery pack
GoPro HERO6 Black Camera
If you’re not quite ready for the expense of big lights, this little video light goes perfectly with any GoPro setup
Suunto SK-8 wrist compass with bungee straps, faster stabilization, and enhanced readability
Black scuba diving turtle fins
Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC OS HSM FLD Large Aperture Standard Zoom Lens for Canon Digital DSLR Camera + 32GB Memory Card + Photo4Less Cleaning Cloth.
Compact scuba diving finger spool with 150ft of white line and a 4-inch brass double-ended clip
Suunto Vyper Novo wrist scuba diving computer with USB
Bare 5mm evoke women’s full suit designed by Bare’s all-female design team. The suit has technically, innovative celliant infrared technology which increase circulation, body warmth and performance.
Ikelite aluminum digital camera tray with dual handles
GoPro dual battery charger conveniently charges two HERO6 Black, HERO5 Black, or HERO camera batteries simultaneously
Capture amazingly smooth shake-free video with the GoPro Karma Grip
Bare SB System Mens Full Under-layer
Capture amazingly smooth GoPro footage in the air with the GoPro Karma Drone
Ikelite Canon EOS 100D Rebel SL1 underwater camera housing in white
Bare drysuit trek boots designed for rocky shore entries, boat decks, and boat ladders
Black Mares Cruise Roller Tauchen bag, perfect for scuba diving and traveling
13-inch inflatable dive buoy with a 12 by 11-inch scuba diving flag surface marker
Canon Macro Lens EF-S 60mm f/2.8 USM – non Image Stabilised
Scuba diving 4ft neon yellow surface marker signal tube with “Diver Below” print
Ikelite underwater macro lens casing is comprised of an acetyl body with glass front and can hold lenses of 4.37 diameter x 3 inches (111 x 76 mm)
The Hydra 5000 WSRU is an all in one photo and dive light with wide, spot, red, and UV modes
Ikelite compact ball arm for quick release handle
Bare Sports 5mm men’s wetsuit made with elastek full-stretch nylon-2 and neoprene celliant liner infrared technology.
3PC curved armband glow in the dark slate.
SHOOT 6″ Underwater Dome Port for GoPro Hero 6/Hero 5/Hero(2018) Black Camera Diving Lens Hood Housing Photography with Waterproof Case Accessories
Dry glove lock system that accommodates all hand sizes
Compact underwater scuba diving hand reel with a 150ft of white line on the spool
AmazonBasics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod and Bag with adjustable-height legs and rubber feet
Rechargeable Ikelite NiMH battery pack compatible with Ikelite’s DS125, DS160, and DS161 strobes.
Bare drysuit drawstring scuba gear bag the perfect alternative for transporting a dry suit to-and-from the dive site
Bare 7mm thick elastek dry suit hood
Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0 L USM Telephoto Zoom Lens
Flexible Lightweight Portable Tripod for Projector DSLR Cameras and Go Pro
Mini blue scuba diving tank key ring with brass pick tool and o-rings
Ikelite TTL dual flash sync cord attaches two strobe’s to the underwater camera housing.
Diving lens filter kit for GoPro HERO 5/6 which enhances colors for underwater video and photography conditions
Black Mares Dragon Scuba Diving BCD
DUI heavy duty dry suit gloves with yellow liners available in sizes: S, M, L, XL