One of the Female Dive Masters in Maldives – Suha Shafiu

Give us an introduction of yourself:

My name is Suha and I studied Hospitality and Tourism in Singapore. I got my first internship in Ananthara Veli which was for 6 months. Later, I went to Centara grand for another 6 months of internship. During that time, I was also helping with snorkeling and excursions as I have always been interested in the water. I started working at Maalifushi since September 2016. I worked at the front desk until April 2018 and changed over to the dive center.

How did you start your career as a dive master?

After my first dive in 2010, I really wanted to be a dive professional. The way to get there was a little hard because of the opinion of the society about woman and diving. I decided to do hospitality because, while working in resorts, we are right next to the water. You can go for snorkeling and diving anytime during your afternoons too. It was very easy for me to get from point A to point B in the sense as everybody was very helpful. It is not so hard for a female anymore. While I was working at the front office, everybody knew that I was interested in the water. Since I said that I would do it if I was given the and the chance, I was given the chance to transfer to the dive center. They helped me get all the certifications and now I am able to work as a dive master. It didn’t take too long.

How is a regular day as a dive master like?

If I have a dive at 2 pm, I would most likely go with an instructor to either learn how to lead dives or assist in courses or certified divers. Then I get my equipment ready and we would either go on the boat or the house reef to take them diving

What advice would you give to other women who want to pursue a career in diving?

If you give it a chance and work a tourism environment you will find that it is not that hard. You can go ahead in your field if you try hard enough. As per the Maldivians, it is not a job for girls. This is because they always see men carrying their tanks, dragging their trollies and teaching others how to dive. COMO Maalifushi was pretty good in the sense as there was no such thing as a man’s job. Opportunities are open to everybody. I was able to do my job well because I got support from everybody including the management.

Can diving be considered as a safe sport?

Diving is a very fun and safe sport. It is not at all as dangerous as people think it is. Before you go on any dive, we tell you all the functions of the equipment that you are wearing, so that you would know how to control yourself during the dive. It all depends on how comfortable you are. You do not have to go that deep and you can end the dive if you want.