The Rise and Rise of Female Scuba Divers

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By guest blogger, and founder of Girls that Scuba, Sarah Richard.

PADI Womens Dive Day

Scuba diving, like many sports, has historically been a male dominated field. However, this is changing. Since PADI’s first Women’s Dive Day in 2014 there has been a 2.2% increase in female certifications for PADI recreational courses, from 37.2% to 39.4%. Males still make up a majority of the divers, but the margin is getting smaller and smaller, and these women are making a huge difference to our oceans, dive community, and waters all over the world. Here we introduce you to the rise and rise of female scuba divers!

Of course, we’ve all heard of Sylvia Earle; an American marine biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer. Not to mention a National Geographic explorer-in-residence since 1998, who has dedicated her life to saving the oceans. But, there are plenty more women, out of the spotlight, who are making all of us scuba ladies proud. Shall we mention Szilvia Gogh? A Platinum Pro 5000 diver, the first female PADI Course Director in Hungary, and the youngest female PADI Course Director in the world. Who, for the last 15 years, has worked with and provided internships for disadvantaged, at-risk youth in Los Angeles, and is trained to provide Boy Scout SCUBA merit badges.

Immi Wallin introducing one of her team’s finds at Eurotek!

PADI Course Director and Examiner, Immi Wallin introducing one of her team’s finds at Eurotek! Image courtesy of Jason Brown – http://www.bardophotographic.com

Women are working in all areas of diving; Sheren Rose worked as an underwater escape instructor for the U.K. Military, teaching personnel such as pilots, aircrew and special forces how to escape from a sinking helicopter. Then there’s Immi Wallin an ex-PADI Regional Manager who now works in the Baltic, diving sub 100 metres in 4c degree water conducting shipwreck research. She was given a mark for a wreck in the Baltic and found out it was a missing Dutchman of War.

We’re rocking it in technical diving too; there’s Rosemary Lunn who established TEKDiveUSA and organized Rebreather Forum, as well as co-founding ‘EUROTEK’ in 2008, the European advanced and technical diving biennial conference. 

There are dedicated communities created just for female scuba divers. Girls that Scuba, a Facebook group and website aims to encourage, empower and educate women who either want to start diving or who want to be a part of a community of fearless females.

It’s important to recognize the women in the dive industry and by encouraging more and more women, families and men to try diving, we strengthen the dive community as a whole! 

Here’s to girls! Will you be joining us this PADI’s Women’s Dive Day? Find your local event here.

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If you’re interested in finding out about other career paths diving can take you on, why not check out the career’s section of our blog?