Sylvia Earle, in her 80s, is mesmerising in her intelligence. Marine biologist, oceanographer, explorer, author, lecturer, explorer-in-residence since 1998 for National Geographic, first female chief scientist of the U.S. NOAA: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, and named by TIME as its first Hero for the Planet in 1998. She was interviewed in October 2016 by Fabian Dattner for Homeward Bound Projects. Hear her telling of decades old sexism and the facts of her leadership of the Tektite Project in 1970.

This excerpt, Dr Sylvia Earle tells the story of applying for the inaugural Tektite Project and then leading the first all-female team of women aquanauts as part of the Tektite II experiment in 1970. These projects were designed to explore the marine realm and test the viability of deepwater habitats and the health effects of prolonged living in underwater structures.

Learn more about our gender leadership research review and the barriers for women leaders in STEMM here.