ABOUT HOMEWARD BOUND
Homeward Bound is a ground-breaking, global leadership initiative, set against the backdrop of Antarctica, which aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in making decisions that shape our planet. Its three strategic focal points are:
I am willing and able to lead
We are stronger together
We are taking actions with impact
Each graduating cohort of participants becomes part of a global network of like-minded women committed to demonstrating a model of leadership (collaborative, inclusive, legacy-minded, trustworthy with assets – people and money) that will influence outcomes for men and women towards a healthier planet, and a sustainable future for us all.
It was (literally) the dream of Fabian Dattner (Australian leadership activist and consultant) who, in collaboration with Antarctic marine scientist Jess-Melbourne Thomas, initially made Homeward Bound a reality. Together, they garnered the support of significant scientific bodies and women of influence, created a strong leadership team and teaching faculty, and got the project off the ground. In 2015, the project went viral. Launched in 2016, the inaugural program culminated in the largest-ever female expedition to Antarctica. Homeward Bound has now led four cohorts of women through the annual state-of-the-art program and Antarctic voyage, with a fifth cohort underway and a sixth currently being selected.
Globally, women are significantly underrepresented in leadership positions, and change has been incredibly slow, despite increasing dialogue and process/systems changes. (Although women comprise 60% of university graduates, only 10-20% of them make it to senior decision-making roles or professional-level academia.) By providing these women with leadership, visibility and strategic skills, a sound understanding of the science, and a strong purposefully developed network, we will enhance their ability to lead for the greater good, to impact decision-making for a sustainable future.
Why the focus on STEMM?
We believe scientific endeavour plays a critical part in resolving our most ‘wicked’ problems moving forward. We want to tackle the challenge of science communication and the visibility of women in STEMM. Additional to the overarching gender imbalance in leadership, women in STEMM face additional challenges specific to these fields.
Regions of Antarctica are showing the fastest responses to some of the global sustainability problems we currently face. Antarctica offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe first hand the influence of human activities on the environment and provide critical insights into the global-scale change required. This iconic environment has captured the imagination of leaders in the past and the expedition experience of the Antarctic component of the Homeward Bound program creates strong bonds between participants.
If not now, when? The sustainability of our planet is in crisis and so is the state of leadership in our world. Homeward Bound aims to address both these global issues.