HOMEWARD BOUND: Women in Science Unite for Change

Homeward Bound is a 10-year outreach initiative to build a coalition of 1000 women in science, focusing on the leadership and planning required to recognise the planet and what is means to care for it.

Leadership expert Fabian Dattner and Dr Jess Melbourne-Thomas of the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre will lead 78 female leaders in science from around the world on a 20 day Artic expedition. This will not only be the world’s first state-of-the-art leadership and strategic programme for women in science, but will provide the kick-off point for the long term collaboration initiative which seeks to significantly elevate women in scientific leadership roles. The programme directors hope to see 1000 women in science undergo the same training over the next 10 years. Participants will have 18 days of education on state of the art leadership, strategic skills and global climate, biological and earth system science.

Throughout 2016, participants have been working on 12 separate yet related projects, the results and conclusions of which will be brought to action levels during the expedition, ready for all of the leaders to take back to their respective countries for implementation. The major aims of Homeward Bound are to elevate each participant’s leadership capabilities, to refine their skills to design and execute strategy, and devise plans for future collaborations as women working towards a sustainable future.

Homeward Bound organiser Fabian Dattner says, “This project was the result of a real dream – one night ‐ that changed my life and the lives of literally dozens of women. The entire learning focus will be framed by the Antarctic experience. Everything we do, everything we see, all the places we land, the people we meet, the animals we watch, all the discussions between us, the vision and values we focus on, the leadership and strategic content presented; this  is all about our role in a sustainable world”.

“Women are the backbone of the not‐for‐profit, disability and education sectors, they are emerging in all universities as significant percentages of graduates, they take up significant percentages or our workforce and they provide the most unpaid community work.  They do most of the work in our homes, are more trustworthy with money and they excel at all but four of 16 well researched leadership capabilities.  And they are in a profound minority in executive decision making roles which shape our future”.

The first trip runs from 2 to 21 December.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Melbourne-Thomas


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