So, it is that time of year again. PADI International Women’s Dive Day!!! Why is this day important? Well coming from someone who has experience in working as a minority in this industry, I believe it is important to celebrate what you are really passion about, especially if you are one of the few embracing it.
I am currently working at ActionQuest in the British Virgin Islands teaching scuba diving to 12-18 year olds on their summer camp sailing trips. I was so excited that PADI International Women’s Dive Day consisted on this experience and was determined to get everyone involved. Staff and shipmates where more than willing to partake in the festivities. As luck would have it, it would fall on the first dives for Advanced Open Water divers and the Open Water Divers confined dives.
We decided for the Advanced diver’s checkout dives at Sand Circles, we would have underwater Olympics. This I had seen at another dive centre the year prior. Despite little resources, we created a circuit that tested diver’s buoyance and coordination in the water. This included;
Kissing stone line
Tag team racing
Bare foot racing
All of the shipmates enjoyed the change up and it was great to see everyone try their best to complete the circuit as gracefully as possible!!!
For the Open Water students, they completed their confined dives at Savanna Bay. Unfortunately, they were not able to compete in any underwater Olympics; however, the female instructors that conducted their confined dives made sure they had an amazing first experience in the water, and they smashed all their skills.
All in all, it was a fantastic day, and I would personally like to say a big thank you to everyone at ActionQuest for all their effort and support.
Why we should all support International Women’s Dive Day
There are many misconceptions of what this day means. Some have a very negative approach and I have heard endless comments to discourage support. Honestly, this makes me sad we are all trying to recruit to the same cause and if there is a dip in an area then that should be targeted and encouraged.
From my personal observations in the UK where it is a male dominated area, I have found it to be the opposite in warmer climates. Whilst living in Honduras the ratio was far more balanced and I would even go as far as saying females are the more dominant gender in the industry.
Why is this?
When I started out my journey as a Scuba Diving Professional, I had no intentions of completing my training in the UK. This wasn’t a decision I made against the UK, but more towards wanting to travel and see the big wide world, although a warmer climate had a big part to play. When returning to the UK I did feel I had to prove myself, not only as a former warmer water diver with only a small amount of experience in cold water diving but also as a female coming into a male dominant industry within the UK. This can be very intimidating. Events like PADI International Women’s Dive Day really help me muster all my determination to succeed and be the best I can be despite potential obstacle around me.
I hope International Women’s Dive Day brings you as more fun and inspiration as it does for me and the phenomenal women I work with every single day.