Don’t miss Women’s Dive Day is this coming Saturday, the 16th of July. In the lead up to the event, we discuss women in diving with Marida Casati, manager of the Dive Centre ‘Ambiente Liquido Centro Formazione Istruttori’ in Gioiosa Marea (ME) – Sicily, Italy.
Why/How did you become a PADI diver?
When I went to work in the Maldives as an entertainer there was a PADI Dive Centre on the atoll, resulting in me returning with a PADI Rescue Diver certification, and the eagerness to pursue my PADI Instructor course, which I did in 2007.
What does PADI mean to you?
The ultimate opportunity to combine passion with work. It also means that I am part of a group of lucky people that can explore a world that is still partially unknown.
What is the best moment in a dive?
I like every single moment in a dive, from preparing your dive gear to the briefing you have on the boat. However, my favourite moment is when you deflate your BCD and start your decent. From that moment you really feel your breathing, you look around and observe all the marine life surrounding you. You want to live in the moment for as long as possible and not have to return to reality, but when you do it’s about the drinks at the bar, where you continue to talk to your dive buddies about what you saw or missed seeing.
What are the most important challenges and opportunities that women face in the diving world?
I believe the biggest challenge (if we can define it like this), for women, is to come back to diving after starting a family. I have seen both instances – the ones who stopped, finding an excuse in their children, and the ones who jumped back in the water as soon as they could.
I think nowadays the opportunities are the same for both genders, but there are still some areas that are considered more ‘male’, for example emergency services commercial diving and technical diving. In most instances I would suggest that the assumption is due to the heaviness of gear and the job implications for family life.
How can we have more women in water and involved in the diving community?
I don’t necessarily think there is a formula for this, but reducing the stigma around diving being dangerous would go a long way in encouraging more women and people in general to give diving a go.
Advice for women to consider a diving activity?
All the female divers who I’ve met and who have embraced scuba diving (including me), all had a passion in common, the love of the sea. We all managed to make a career out of this passion. So if it’s something that you want to consider trying, than go for it and just do it!
Want to get involved? Find a PADI Women’s Dive Day event near you or contact your local PADI Dive Centre.