Breaking Barriers: Supporting & Celebrating Women in Skydiving

Cynthia Curry female TI
While the number of female and male tandem students is almost evenly split, the world of sport skydiving is extremely male-dominated. Shockingly, only 14% of the 41,000 professional skydivers in the United States are women. To to find out why, and learn what we could do to encourage more women in the sport, we talked […]

While the number of female and male tandem students is almost evenly split, the world of sport skydiving is extremely male-dominated. Shockingly, only 14% of the 41,000 professional skydivers in the United States are women. To to find out why, and learn what we could do to encourage more women in the sport, we talked to some amazing female skydivers from Skydive the Wasatch and beyond. Here’s what we found…

Former Skydive the Wasatch employee Theresa Hauser is a tandem instructor and an influential force in the fight for awareness around the treatment of female skydivers. When speaking to us about the culture she’s encountered in her years of skydiving around the country, she didn’t hold anything back.

“It’s definitely been a boy’s club for as long as it’s been around,” Hauser said. “It’s hard to get into it [professional skydiving]. You can find good instructors, but it’s hard to learn if you get to a place where it’s a bunch of boys.” Hauser also expressed the discomfort she’s felt when some of the instructors have become more interested in flirting with female students than providing them with the same level and quality of instruction as they would a male student. 

Former Skydive the Wasatch Tandem Instructor Theresa Hauser (back) with tandem jumper (front).

Fortunately, this isn’t the case at every dropzone. Skydive the Wasatch is proud to have a culture that’s hailed as an exception to this kind of treatment. We take pride in providing an atmosphere that is safe and comfortable for all demographics.

Skydive the Wasatch manifest assistant and licensed skydiver, Kasey Summers noted that a big factor is the environment owner Leon Roullard has created for the dropzone.

Summers, who’s a few jumps away from getting her coach rating and has skydived at some of the highest-rated dropzones across the globe, including in Chicago, Atlanta, Wisconsin, and even Paris, said her experience training as a woman at Skydive the Wasatch has been exponentially better than any other dropzone. 

Kasey Summers (right) after a tandem skydive.

“I’ve been to quite a few dropzones around this country, some of which have the best reputations in this country, and Skydive the Wasatch blows them out of the water,” Summers said. “It starts with Leon, and it just trickles down from the staff that he keeps around.” 

Summers also shared how Adam Krum, who’s a coach at Skydive the Wasatch, has helped her as a woman in the industry by giving her the same baseline that he would the men. 

“We’ve got Krum, and [he] has done nothing but encourage me to do so much more in the sport- to push myself and to go out there and get my ratings because he’s constantly telling me how much they need more women representation and how they need women instructors.”

Skydive the Wasatch makes an extra effort to treat all our skydiving trainees equally and Summers’ experience being coached by Adam Krum is a representation of that. 

In discussing the physical requirements to be a tandem instructor, Hauser noted that “you have to be strong to do it, but most of it is technique. It does require a little bit of strength… but not to such a degree where the average woman can’t do it. Anybody can.”

Hauser also expressed the joy of being a female tandem instructor, and getting to guide people through the adventure of a lifetime. Knowing that some tandem students (for whatever reason) might prefer a female instructor over a male one, Hauser explained how awesome it is for a dropzone to have female instructors and give people that option. “It’s nice to have people who can come out and feel comfortable [with a female instructor, when] they wouldn’t have gone otherwise, so that’s really cool.”

Theresa Hauser (pink helmet) on a skydive with a tandem student.

At Skydive the Wastach, we’re working to increase our female staff so that more customers can always have the option of having a female tandem instructor to jump with. With our incredible staff and a culture that we’re proud of, we hope to attract even more women to a training program that we’re super proud of.

Speaking about the program, Summers said she’s made more progress in her first season at Skydive the Wasatch than in years at other dropzones. 

“Just from encouragement, and them being here and talking to you, knowing where you’re at, what your exposure is. They [Skydive the Wasatch employees] see it when there’s something you haven’t done yet, and they’re just like ‘let’s go do this.’ … I have already done more in advancing my experience in the sport in the two months I’ve been here than any other dropzone so far,” Summers said.

Besides dropzones like Skydive the Wasatch working to create supportive environments for women in the sport, there are also several programs that empower women in the skydiving industry that we would like to celebrate and share with you.

One of those is Sisters in Skydiving (SIS). SIS is a USPA program that supports female jumpers in skydiving through networking and resources. SIS focuses on providing a safe platform for female skydivers to network, as well as, maintains a collection of world-class resources, primarily written by women, tailored to female skydivers, and vetted by industry professionals. SIS also offers ratings scholarships and hosts events at dropzones all over the country to encourage women to get active in the sport. 

Another resource is the Women’s Skydiving Network (WSN). WSN is an inclusive movement for female skydivers to connect and inspire each other, while working on growing presence and participation. WSN is a nonprofit organization committed to elevating women and positively impacting equality and inclusion in and out of skydiving. They do this through representation of women such as in their Highlight Pro Skydiving Team, and Project-19, which is dedicated to building a 101-way Women’s Vertical World Record. 

Want more info on pursuing a career in skydiving as a woman? Skydive the Wasatch would love to hear from you! Whether you’d like to join our team or just want more information or resources about women in professional skydiving, we’re here to help! Give us a call at (385) 321-0284 or send us an email at info@skydivethewasatch.com

Addict II Athlete Skydive the Wasatch group photo

Skydive the Wasatch

Utah's premier tandem skydiving center, Skydive the Wasatch is a "refuge away from the stress and weight of life". Located only one hour away from the Salt Lake City metropolitan area and just half an hour from Provo, Skydive the Wasatch offers tandem skydiving over the majestic terrain of the Wasatch Front.
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    Cindy W.
    Such an amazing experience!! Thank you for being so kind, funny, and skilled!! Had so much fun and you all... read more
    8/01/2015
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    Dawnesia L.
    Very amazing and awesome people work there plus I had the most exhilarating experience in my whole life!!! I'll go... read more
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    B W.
    This is the second year in a row that I’ve skydived here! Both times I absolutely had a blast! The... read more
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    Awesome company and staff. My experience was wonderful and I felt valued as a customer!!! I will be recommending to... read more
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    Kelly Hardy
    Leon and Matt were friendly, funny, and made the experience so exciting! They made sure we were prepared to handle... read more
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    Nicole Kelsch
    We had a super positive experience with Skydive the Wasatch! Leon was a great instructor who struck the right balance... read more
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    Lindsey T.
    I had the best experience yesterday skydiving for my first time! I was super anxious and nauseous as we got... read more
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    Nghia P.
    It was the best thing I've ever done. When I showed my friends the video, they totally loved it.... read more
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    We went as a group and had a blast!!!!! Everyone there was awesome. They made us feel like part of... read more
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    Andrew T.
    First time skydiving was absolutely amazing. I jumped with monte, he was awesome, made me feel safe and not nervous,... read more
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