Women in diving: inspiring change & a love of the ocean

PADI Women’s Dive Day

On July 15th, the world celebrated PADI Women’s Dive Day. This day aims to encourage women from all over the world to discover the wonders of scuba diving. We will use this occasion to highlight the role of women in the diving industry as well as gender equality within scuba diving as a whole! Thanks to the efforts and valuable contributions of women in diving, who despite all odds, have defied gender barriers and made a significant mark on the diving industry. 

Female pioneers in the world of scuba diving

The fact that, historically, women represented a minority in the diving world goes without a doubt. There are a few reasons for this. First off, diving was established in the male-dominated military field and did not yet include women. It was also due partly to the false belief that women were more prone to suffer from decompression sickness than men, and so were excluded from the sport. The early years of diving were not always very friendly to women and those who dared to dive were forced to use ill-fitting equipment designed for men. However, this did not stand in the way of many who became pioneers in the diving world.

Dotti Frazer

A great example is the case of Dotti Frazer who, in the 1940s, became the first female scuba diving instructor. She had the honor of becoming the first woman to set up and run her own dive center. She also designed and created her own line of wetsuits. To top it all off, she did this all while raising 4 children!

Sylvia Earle

We cannot talk about the role of women in diving without mentioning the diving icon, Sylvia Earle. She is also known as “Her Deepness”. Dr. Earle is a renowned oceanographer and underwater explorer who has dedicated her entire life and soul to marine conservation. Her love for the ocean has led her to reach places where no one has ever been before. Including being the first person to walk the seabed at a depth of 400m! Furthermore, in 1970, she was part of the Tektite project, an expedition to investigate the seabed which earned her the label of the first “aquanaut”. This project gave her the opportunity to be a part of the US Virgin Islands Underwater Research a few years later at a depth of 15 meters. This was just one of the first milestones that Dr. Earle would achieve throughout her extensive career.

Despite her achievements, making a place for herself in an industry dominated by men was one of the most difficult challenges for the explorer. Despite having more than a thousand hours of research behind her back, she was rejected to join the second expedition in the project called Tektite I the following year, simply for being a woman. Dr. Earle never gave up and two years later, she was selected to be the leader of a group of female divers on the third expedition under the name Tektite II, in which they spent two complete weeks living and researching under the sea. Today, she is recognized worldwide as one of the greatest marine ambassadors and most influential people behind the marine conservation efforts leading the project called Mission Blue.


Of course, there are also women on Bonaire who make a great contribution to the diving industry. One example is Kim Kloet, one of the two main pillars behind Beyond The Corals. Kim is a role model for the entire staff, where women represent 60% of the team. She also leads the PADI Reef Renewal Diver Distinctive Specialty at Beyond The Corals. Spreading awareness of coral reef conservation and teaching divers and staff how we can take care of Bonaire’s coral reefs.

Inspiring the next generations of PADI divers

The work and legacy of these inspirational women in diving have been a source of inspiration for generations to come. By showing us that women can be leaders in marine conservation and that they can revolutionize the diving industry. Their stories and achievements have encouraged and paved the way for many women to fall in love with the marine world and follow in their footsteps. We want to celebrate this on PADI Women’s Dive Day!

How scuba diving empowers women

There are a host of scuba diving benefits that empower women:

  • Experiencing the world from a new perspective: diving allows you to explore our blue planet’s underwater world. It offers abundant opportunities to experience new adventures, travel to unique destinations and find wonderful wildlife. You may even discover things you would never have imagined existed!
  • Keeping fit: when diving we work all the muscles in our body. The best thing is that you won’t even notice the effort. You will only feel the peace of mind of being in near zero gravity while you enjoy all the wonders that the underwater world has to offer.
  • Saying goodbye to stress: diving provides a great sense of relaxation known as the Blue Mind. When we dive we forget all our stress and worries. We are able to relax the senses and separate ourselves from distractions, to the point where we can hear only the sound of our breathing. This will help you to focus on the “here and now”. 
  • Meeting new friends: scuba diving is a buddy sport. It allows you to meet and interact with other like-minded people who share your interests and passions.
  • Gaining a sense of achievement and pride: every dive leads to personal growth. Opening up to new experiences builds self-confidence.
  • Defending our oceans: through diving adventures you will learn about the importance of preserving the marine world and how you can make a difference.

Let’s go scuba diving!

What is of the utmost importance, is that scuba diving is a safe and fun activity. It is suitable for everyone – regardless of their gender, age or level of experience. Whether you want to try diving for the first time, or you are a certified diver looking for a new adventure, we have a PADI diving program for you! Reach out to us to find out how to get started. Enjoy PADI Women’s Dive Day!