Homeward Bound is a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative and outreach for women, set against the backdrop of Antarctica. The initiative, turned global movement, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet.
The project is supported by a world leading global faculty who are experts in their various domains, including a filmed faculty with contributors such Dr Jane Goodall (primatologist and environmental campaigner); Franny Armstrong (film maker behind ‘The Age of Stupid’, 100 most influential women); Dr Sylvia Earle (global leading Marine Biologist, explorer, author, and lecturer); Christiana Figueres (Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change); Dr Amy Edmondson (Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at the Harvard Business School). First edition of the project has had repercusion worldwide:
- To elevate each participant’s leadership capabilities.
- To refine participants’ skills to design and execute strategy, and to create plans for future collaborations as women working towards a sustainable future.
- To create active, non-hierarchical collaborations among the women both in small groups and as a collective. To contribute to and elevate the broader societal conversation about the role of women in leading the world toward a more sustainable future.
- The statistics are clear, although on average there are equal numbers of men and women entering higher education, the more you go up the ladder, the fewer women are remaining. Only 11% reach top responsability positions in academia. A waste of economic potential and scientific talent.
There are several reasons for that including the difficulty to balance family life with a successful career:
- The gender pay gap (still too big in Europe) along with historical/cultural habits influences who is the person spending more time taking care of the home, kids and elderly.
- The lack of women role-models in the highest responsibilities is striking in most disciplines: science, politics, medicine, law, entertainment, industry, finance… and refrain from inspiring girls, boys and their parents on the possibilities in front of them.
- The image of women in the media brings the body at the centre of everything rather than the mind (very well explained in a great documentary: Miss Representation). Therefore girls and women often lack the self-esteem, confidence, communication skills needed to reach the highest responsibilities.
The continent is iconic as a wild, beautiful and unique environment that has captured the imagination of many leaders in the past. Regions of Antarctica are currently showing amongst the fastest responses to climate change seen anywhere on the planet. The study of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, and their roles in the climate system, provides critical insights into global-scale change, and the influence of human activities on environmental change. By taking this journey together we envision the experience will create strong bonds, inspire action and lead to extraordinary collaborations between the women. Women forward the vetures forth from the friendly environment of earth to oceans beyond in search of the unknown. Together we descent to new frontiers, what had seemed alien and full of menace will grow familiar and reveal itself in beauty.