Here are a few ideas to help you to get more women through the doors at your club. These tips will help break down the barriers women face when taking up a new sport.
Make sure you have an up-to-date website and/or social media pages.
Newcomers need to find out everything they need to know about a first Try Dive session or visit:
- Dates, times, location
- Explanation of the session / what to expect
- Friendly, welcoming photos of the club showing a diverse mix of women
Be clear that you welcome beginners
Make sure this is clear on your website, social media and other marketing. Welcoming information on learning to dive is important. Include testimonials and pictures of beginners – in the pool, first open water dives etc. Make sure you stick to this principle when they arrive in person too – ensure they’re not left alone and are comfortable with the session.
Run a Try Dive event
If there are similar people in a similar position it’ll be less intimidating. Once someone has expressed an interest in joining, follow it up with an email, text or call. Giving it a personal touch will make the person feel genuinely welcome and wanted at your club.
Have female members 'front of house'
It's encouraging for visiting women to see that female members are active and enjoy club life just like the male members. Consider having women respond to female Try Dive and other potential member enquiries, and to have female members conduct try dives.
Equally it's important for clubs to have female instructors and committee members, where possible. It evidences diversity and inclusion and thereby a more attractive environment for women to join.
Consider a women-only Try Dive event
Running a female-only Try Dive event can be a great way to relieve the worry that a woman may be judged on her appearance or ability. However this might not always be possible, or what your members want. You could instead try adapting the standard format, for example by:
- having a mix of men and women instructors running the sessions (i.e. not just men)
- having female members respond to leads from women and ask if they’d like a female instructor for their Try Dive.
- having female visitor ‘buddies’ that pair with visiting women
Have a female member case study on your website
Think about your female members and whether their story/journey with your club would inspire others. It would be good to have a male one too of course. The This Girl Can website does this well.
Invite a female journalist to dive
Inviting a journalist to dive is a tried-and-tested winner for BSAC clubs. If the journalist is a woman your club will have the added bonus of advertising the fact that it is a sport that can be enjoyed by women. Check out BSAC’s advice on working with the media and Try Dives for journalists.