Inspiring the next generation of divers can be as simple as just taking the time to interact with the youth in your life by sharing stories, asking about their interests, and encouraging them to step out of their comfort zones. The future of diving and the health of our oceans depend on great role models. We reached out our AmbassaDiversTM and other women in diving to hear how they personally take the initiative to help inspire the next generation of divers.
PADI AmbassaDiver, Margo Peyton, said, “Speak to young girls that are interested in photography or in photography clubs or groups about diving. Because I find that photography seems to be a great in-road for sparking curiosity about diving. I often offer to give a slide presentation of underwater photography to high school groups, Girl Scouts, and even friends that are interested in photography such as photographers for the local state news paper.”
“Invite the women and girls in your life to a discover scuba at your local dive shop, or invite them on trips.” — Peyton told us.
She also suggested, “Throw a dive shop social, or throw a scuba-themed party. Ladies in my neighborhood throw wine, jewelry and make-up parties, so why not let scuba be the theme of your next gathering?”
Jo Mikutowicz, owner of Divetech dive center on Grand Cayman added, “Take a young woman/little girl out on a boat charter to dive or snorkel with you. As owner of Divetech, I drive the boats, brief the dives, dive the dives, move the tanks on and off the boat. This can show young women that they can do anything, especially in a male-dominated industry. When they see me, a woman, leading staff, driving boats, and moving heavy tanks faster than the boys, I would hope it would inspire them to be the same one day. Hopefully it will inspire them to be strong and pursue anything that interests them. They need to be watching this kind of thing rather than the reality TV shows. The impression I hope they leave with is smart is beautiful, strong is beautiful, and you can be anything you want to be — you just have to work hard to get it, and its worth it!”
PADI AmbassaDiver and founder of Sharks 4 Kids, Jillian Morris, added, “Share your story of how scuba diving impacted your life. Reach out to a Girl Scout group, class or community group and share your love of the ocean. A female speaking about this shows a concrete example of what these girls can do and why it is amazing. Diving changed my life, and I will share that story with as many woman and young woman as possible!”
Annabel Thomas, Director of AquaMarine Diving in Bali, recommended, “Encourage anyone with daughters or young women in their lives to take these girls snorkeling so they can see the reefs! I am lucky enough to be the owner/operator of AquaMarine Diving in Bali. All my dive staff are Indonesian (about half are Balinese), and as a woman, I particularly encourage them to take their daughters snorkeling, to try diving, and to teach them to dive. What better way to encourage the next generation of female divers … or dive guides!”
She also mentioned, “Give a presentation locally to schools about turtle or other marine life conservation. Or organize beach clean-ups which teach why it’s important not to litter. Start them young. Spark interest and curiosity!”
Another great way to inspire the next generation of female divers is to sign up for a PADI Women’s Dive Day event on July 15th! Learn more about how you can join divers around the world for the third annual celebration by finding an event here.