On the heels of PADI’s International Women’s dive day, one local dive operation is setting its sights on closing the gender gap in what has historically been a male-dominated sport.
Cayman 27 checked in with one woman who’s pushing for more women’s involvement in scuba.
“It’s slowly going away but it’s not there all the way yet,” said DiveTech owner Joanna Mikutowicz, better known as ‘Pinky Jo.’
She told Cayman 27 women divers are doing their best to shrink the scuba diving gender gap.
“You look at all the companies in town, there’s a lot of women out there driving the boats, the lead instructors are women, so there are lots of women in charge around here which is good,” said Ms. Mikutowicz.
Ms. Mikutowicz said that last weekend’s Women’s Dive Day boat trip, which raised $1,000 for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society, sold out almost immediately.
“We had 16 women turn up plus the four crew from DiveTech, so there were 20 of us. It’s just a lot of fun, a lot of happy women, we had some awesome dives, saw some awesome eagle rays, a huge green sea turtle, just had a great time,” said Ms. Mikutowicz.
She said while the social elements of diving are attracting more and more women to the sport, Ms. Mikutowicz hopes the role of women in diving can expand to all corners of the industry.
“For example like technical diving or cave diving, or just women running dive shops in general, that seems still to be a little bit male dominated, and that’s where I think women should step into next,” said Ms. Mikutowicz.
Her 36-foot dive boat’s head-turning pink paint job is more than a fashion statement, it’s a signal to all women that they are just as welcome on board as the guys.
“I hope that the way I just own it with my pink colour, and that a woman runs this company, that they feel comfortable and confident when coming to dive with us,” said Ms. Mikutowicz.
Her advice to prospective women divers? Don’t be intimidated – just go for it.