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Scuba Republic Blog

11 Mar

Why Being An Inspiring Woman In Scuba Diving Is Important

Women and diving

Women are breaking down the barriers of sexism within action sports. However, scuba diving is still a step behind.  Men make up the majority of scuba diving professionals. 

There is a definite risk element to scuba diving. This stereotypically but automatically steers this profession towards men. 

Although it is 2020 and women have more rights than past years, there is still an imbalance of female to male divers in the industry.

On Saturday 18th July 2020, we will bear witness to the 5th annual Women’s Dive Day. Recognised worldwide, this is a day to celebrate the shared passion for adventure and love for the ocean.

Gender does not matter, and everybody is capable of achieving their goals. This recognition of women in scuba diving is a milestone, and a progression marker to be noticed.

In a predominantly male profession, women working in the dive industry are becoming more common. There has been an increase of women in the field of marine biology, conservation, and science.  

There have been female pioneers of diving, helping give women a voice and a foothold within the industry. These influential women have paved the way for future generations. They have helped give women a voice within this field. 

More and more women are getting certified, and more women are starting their journey in diving. This should be encouraged. 

Influential figures

Dr Sylvia Earle

She is one of the most inspirational women in the industry in some people’s opinion. An oceanographer, marine biologist, resident National Geographic explorer, mother, and role model.

Sylvia Earle in JIM, the submersive diving apparatus

Dr Earle was one of the first women to break the norms of the male dominated diving world. It was in 1979 when Dr Sylvia Earle made history, descending 381m in a submersible suit called JIM. Once on the seafloor, she went exploring at an extreme depth that no human had done before. 

Dr Sylvia Earle is more than an influential woman in scuba diving. She is an inspiration. She is an example to all women who want to stand up for what they believe, to women who won’t take no for an answer, who don’t stop until they have achieved what they set out to do. 

A woman (Sylvia Earle) diving in the ocean

Dottie Frazier

You could say she is the OG pioneer for women scuba divers. Dottie Frazier was the first female scuba diving instructor in 1955, as well as the first female owner and operator of a dive shop.

At this time, the dive industry was still heavily male dominated. Dottie Frazier defied the odds and paved the way for women in scuba diving and for the future of the industry. 

Rosheen Khan

In 2009 Rosheen Khan became the first scuba diving instructor in Pakistan. This is an astounding accomplishment, defying the gender norms and becoming what she had dreamed of. 

Khan had trouble with customers not wanting to be taught by her. Troubles also ensued with her family, who did not approve of her working in a male-dominated workplace. 

Becoming the first female instructor in a country where women are still considered inferior to men is an incredible achievement.

Importance of female divers

It’s very important to recognise the changes that have happened over recent years. Many more women from all over the world are starting careers in the dive industry. 

It is becoming much more normal and common. Girls and women should not hesitate to pursue diving. At Scuba Republic, we encourage anybody and everybody to pursue diving and conservation. Our shop is open to everyone!

Groups of female divers

Girls That Scuba started off as nothing more than a Facebook group, founded by Sarah Richards in an attempt to meet other female scuba divers. This soon became a worldwide community of aspiring female divers who share the same passion: scuba diving. 

The mission of Girls That Scuba is to encourage, educate, and introduce women to scuba diving, while empowering the ones among us that are already addicted. With more than 50,000 women being part of this online and offline community, it has become a well known group. 

SSI support International Women’s Day every year and promote it on social media. They are one of the world’s largest and well recognised diving organisations. They support women in diving and encourage females to take up scuba diving and pursue the professional dive path. 

Women at Scuba Republic

Currently at Scuba Republic Komodo, the number of female Divemasters outweigh the males. We feel that this is a huge positive. 

We encourage all women to pursue careers in diving, despite the gender imbalance. Women and men have the exact same role here at Scuba Republic. The expectations for every member of staff are the same. 

A female diver in the sea signalling OK with her hand

Stigma and expectations

In 2020, we have seen shifts in the way we view gender identity. We have seen women in many sports achieving and accomplishing astonishing things. 

Women have taken charge of their careers. They have proved that women can achieve the same, if not more, than men in the scuba diving industry. 

Tech divers, cave divers, scuba diving instructors, and the list goes on. All these careers are becoming increasingly gender balanced. This can only continue and improve. 

A female diver in the big blue with a manta in the frame

There are also factors that mean that women are more suited to diving than men. For example, women are generally smaller and therefore less water-resistant than men. This means getting good trim and style may be easier for women. 

For nervous or young new divers, being taught by a female instructor may be better suited to them. 

In almost all scuba gear brands, you can now purchase female equipment which is designed specifically to fit a woman’s body better. Gradually, we are seeing these changes happen, and things can only continue in this way. 

Diving here in Indonesia with us is a once in a lifetime opportunity. We highly recommend Indonesia for any women interested in diving in some of the most insane diving in the world. Diving in Komodo is a challenging and amazing thing to do, for men and for women. 

Woman power old wartime poster of female showing her muscles

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