The contributions made by women to the advancement of science and technology play a crucial role in shaping the future. Here are just a few women who have made big contributions to the dive community. 

International Day of Women and Girls in Science Day

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on February 11, provides an opportunity to recognize the contributions of women in science and emphasize the importance of encouraging girls to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers.  

This year, the United Nations celebrates its 8th annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science since its establishment in 2015. The theme for 2023 is “Innovate. Demonstrate. Elevate. Advance. Sustain. (I.D.E.A.S.). Bringing Everyone Forward for Sustainable and Equitable Development.” The goal is to connect the international community to women and girls in science, strengthening the ties between science, policy and society for strategies oriented towards the future. 

This day serves as a platform to raise awareness about the challenges faced by women and girls in STEM, as well as the need for greater gender equality in these fields. It also highlights the contributions made by women to the advancement of science and technology and the crucial role they play in shaping the future.  

Here are just a few women who have made big contributions to the dive community. 

Dr. Sylvia Earle

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A marine biologist, Dr. Sylvia Earle was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Earle pioneered research on marine ecosystems, exploration, conservation and development of new technologies for accessing the deep sea. 

She was also named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” and is the leader of Mission Blue, a coalition that inspires public awareness, access and support for a worldwide network of marine protected areas or Hope Spots. Dr. Earle has led over 100 expeditions and has authored over 190 publications.  

Zale Parry

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Zale Parry was a dive icon. She began diving in the 1950s and set the deep-diving record for women at 209 feet while also testing the Hope-Page non-return valve mouthpiece in open water. She is a Sports Illustrated cover model and actress who made her silver screen debut in “Kingdom of the Sea.” 

On top of all that, she helped build California’s first civilian hyperbaric chamber. She also was the first woman president of the Underwater Photographic Society and an inaugural member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. 

“Here were the top women divers of our time, from across the world, standing in awe of each other, as well-known name met well-known name for the first time. It was a gathering of eagles, this outstanding group of women who have established milestones in many diverse fields of diving.”Women Divers Hall of Fame.  

Eugenie Clark

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Eugenie Clark, also known as The Shark Lady, was one of the first females to start diving for research purposes. She conducted 72 submersible dives and studied marine life, including sharks. She was one of the only ichthyologists, or fish biologists, to study living specimens this way. 

Eugenie explored places very few had visited before. She discovered the fish species Moses sole. In her studies, she found that this species releases a natural shark repellent that had sharks stop dead in their tracks.  

Through the years she also taught at the University of Maryland and rode on the back of a 50-foot whale shark. Her last dive was at 92 years old.

Recognizing these scientists on International Day of Women and Girls in Science aims to create a more inclusive world where everyone has equal opportunities to participate in and benefit from scientific progress.  

To all of the women reading this, you are making a difference!     

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