Master Divers prides itself on being a cut above the rest, and unique within the diving industry. And by that we mean that we are one of the very few dive centers run by women. From female owners, female Tec Gas Blenders, female dive operations managers, to female instructors and dive masters. Anything you need doing or any question you may need answering, these ladies have it covered! Our team of women are all avid scuba divers whose passion for the industry shines through with the time and effort they spend making sure everyone who walks through the dive centre doors has a fun, safe and memorable experience.
In other industries this may not seem like a very big deal, however in an industry (which up until very recently has been dominated by men) this is a huge thing! Scuba diving was generally not a very female friendly sport up until the 1980’s when the male to female ratio of divers started to balance out; nowadays its on a pretty even keel with men making up 60% of divers and women making up the other 40%!
Read below to meet the ladies in charge!
The Dive Centre is co owned by Elaine and Linzi:
Elaine’s first dives were during a holiday in Corfu in 1988. She then continued to dive around the world for many years before finally completing her PADI Open Water Diver Course in Koh Phi Phi. She was hooked and headed to Koh Tao where she trained all the way through to PADI Staff Instructor with Master Divers. Elaine was given the opportunity to buy into Master Divers 6 years ago and jumped at the opportunity. Knowing this industry and Koh Tao were where she was meant to be, Elaine started to build up Master Divers to be the place that she has dreamt of for many years. Being an incredible business woman with buckets of innovation she has built up an amazing centre where families, backpackers and tourists are welcome through the doors. She has spent months and months teaching herself web design, retail management, social media…you name it she’s studied it! Its safe to say this lady is the foundation of the school and without her hard work and dedication it wouldn’t be the place it is today.
Linzi used to be a horse riding instructor, and later a college lecturer, so has always been a teacher of some kind! She has a foundation degree in Psychology and 2 full degrees – one in Travel & Tourism Management, and another in Teaching. All of which are surprisingly helpful for being a diving instructor!
She came to Koh Tao on holiday in 2008 and somehow never left! She completed all of her pro level training here and worked as Divemaster before doing her IDC. She has been head instructor at 2 local dive centres before moving into dive centre management in 2013. Linzi has always been familiar with MD, having freelanced for the shop in the past and loved the focus on safety, eco diving and adherence to meeting and exceeding both PADI and industry wide standards. So when the opportunity to become a partner in the school came about, she couldn’t turn it down!
She came onboard in June as an owner and is starting beginning of August as owner manager when surrent manager, Charlotte, moves on to her new travelling adventures. The whole shop is looking forward to having her around and she is super excited to be part of such a well established, successful and respected dive centre.
The Dive Centre Manager: Charlotte
She took her first underwater breaths on SCUBA at the tender age of 10, but it was quite a few years later that she took her PADI Open Water Diver course. Inspired by her friend who was already an instructor, a few years later, Charlotte came to Thailand for 3 months to train as a dive professional. A year later, she came back to Thailand to work full-time in the dive industry, Charlotte is a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer .
Not only is she an experienced PADI Instructor, Charlotte is also the Dive Shop Manager, overseeing everything dive related, she’s in charge of making sure that the day to day running of the centre goes smoothly, organising the instructors and dive masters, as well as responding to potential new customers queries through enquiries! Charlotte is a very strong role model for all members of staff and her professionalism in second to none.
Heather: Operations Manager
Heather comes from Cape Town in South Africa. There, Heather worked for a textile company, where she was involved in office administration amongst other roles. Her diving career started in South Africa after being tricked into doing her Open Water in the cold Cape Town waters! Luckily she loved it so much (despite the temperature!) that she progressed to her Advanced Open Water and her Wreck Diver Specialty.
Heather came to Koh Tao in January 2014 for a diving holiday where she met her soon to be husband Gary.
Heather is now the dive operations manager and you will find her greeting you on arrival, answering your emails, helping you with paperwork, and assisting with any and all diving related queries. Heather and Charlotte/Linzi work closely together to make sure that everything is organised and scheduled for the coming days.
Natalia: Dive Operations
Natalia comes from the beautiful city of St Petersburg in Russia. After graduating from University with a degree in psychology, she felt the need for adventure, travel, and a life by the sea.
Her first stop was Egypt where she lived, worked and fell in love with scuba diving and the lifestyle. She traveled and worked her way to tiny Koh Tao where she has settled and has been with MD for 18 months. Natalia is queen of organising, whether its accounts or paper work she knows exactly where to find it! She is also our resident travel guide; whether its tips on where to eat or which ferry to get or where the best beaches are in Thailand, she is the woman to ask! You will usually find Natalia with an animal or two following her around!
Jasmin: Eco Queen & Social Media Marketing
Jasmin is a PADI Divemaster and an EFR Instructor, she is now aiming towards doing her IDC and becoming a specialty instructor in everything marine conservation and photography related.
Jasmin coordinates all the conservation activities, as well as being behind the the computer updating the blogs, social media and dive reports, but you will also see her behind the desk ready to check you in! She shares MD’s ethos of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ and hopes to pass it on to everyone she comes across.
Simone: Full time Divemaster
Simone came to Master Divers last year to do a DSD and fell in love with all things scuba and pretty much never left!
Simone coordinates the boats and makes sure the equipment area is organised and that everything is ready (including customers and staff members) for the given boat times. You will usually find Simone maintaining the equipment, refreshing divers who haven’t dived for a while or guiding fun divers around the dive sites of Koh Tao!
Anne: Staff Instructor
Anne has been working in the diving industry for several years, and her knowledge of the industry along with her background in management makes her an incredible asset to the team. Her passion for diving and her professionalism is second to none! If she’s not in the water you will find her around the shop helping customers and the shop staff with anything and everything!
Luchia: Master Scuba Diver Trainer
With the patience of a saint and the enthusiasm of someone who has just been introduced to diving, this young lady is a powerhouse of an instructor! She’s been with MD for over a year, after originally coming with the intention of completing her Dive Master Training. However she quickly realised the dream of becoming a PADI Instructor was just too much to pass up, so she stayed! You can usually find Luch helping organise the boats, or in the classroom going through dive theory with her students, and of course in the water!
Together they share the passion for offering a quality dive experience and maintaining a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, whilst concentrating on professionalism, safety and the environment.
This blog has been created to celebrate the women behind this vision.
Happy PADI Women’s Day!