In 1979, Susan Bangasser and Jeanne Bear Sleeper published the first book to specifically reach women divers. In 1992, Ella Jean Morgan and Erin O’Neill published When Women Dive. They were way ahead of their time, and all are inaugural inductees into the Women Divers Hall of Fame.
In the late 1990s, Patty Mortara and Jill Heinerth were lamenting the lack of resources and connections between the very few female technical divers around the world. With Velora Peacock, they started an organization called Cardea 2000, in the hopes that they could better connect women tec divers around the world by the turn of the century. Patty and Jill started a magazine called Women Underwater in order to further that cause. Edited and printed in small numbers, they mailed out the quarterly around the world until they ran out of money to do it. They shared stories about expeditions, gear and resources with the growing community of women technical divers.
Writing Women Underwater is very much the result of that dream.
Women Underwater (and its accompanying website) seeks to address much more than just women’s specific health issues. Truthfully, our industry is only just beginning to recognize that women need distinct solutions for equipment rather than something that is just small and pink. In careers, women still struggle to be considered capable of participating in traditionally male-dominated professions. On dive boats, women are still frequently treated with insensitivity, prejudice and even harassment. Clearly these are unique issues that women face in the underwater world.
Women Underwater aims to reach out to women to help find their place in the diving community. With detailed guidance on equipment, medical issues and social factors, they include inspiring stories and advice from mentors who have forged remarkable careers in underwater fields. Their hope is to provide a solid reference and inspiration for women to feel included and capable of pursuing their unique path in diving.
Follow their blog at WomenUnderWater.com
Women Underwater is on sale at IntoThePlanet.com, Amazon.comand other retailers.