Achievements of female explorers overshadowed by men

Jacques Cousteau’s granddaughter Alexandra Cousteau says her grandmother Simone made his exploration possible

“Women’s achievements in science, discovery and exploration have been overshadowed by men’s,” says environmental activist Alexandra Cousteau, the granddaughter of legendary explorer, Jacques Cousteau

“There are a lot of women explorers out there who haven’t been recognised for the incredible things that they have contributed to how we understand our world,” she told Kathy Sheridan in the latest episode of The Women’s Podcast.

One of those women was her own grandmother, Simone Cousteau, who received the French maritime medal of honour for sailing more miles than any other woman in history.

“She was an extraordinary woman. My grandfather wouldn’t have been able to do everything that he did if she hadn’t been by his side, especially in the beginning. She sold her jewels to be able to finance the first expeditions of The Calypso,” she said.

An environmental activist and advocate on the conservation of water, Cousteau has spent her life at sea and was taught how to scuba-dive when she was just four years old by her famous grandfather who invented the pursuit.

She went on her first expedition at sea as a baby, on an amphibious plane with her father the explorer Philippe Cousteau. “Some people love to go camping with their children… this is what we did,” she said.

You can catch Alexandra Cousteau at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre in Dublin on Sunday, April 23rd - the day after Earth Day – when she will speak about her remarkable life and work to date and of course her pioneering family.