The 19-day voyage provides participants, all with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM), with a first-hand experience of one of the earth’s most precious ecosystems
An expedition of 188 women from all over the world is setting sail to Antarctica in November, on a collaborative mission to promote the long-term sustainability of the planet. With representatives from South Africa, Kenya and Zimbabwe, the 19-day voyage provides participants, all with backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM), with a first-hand experience of one of the earth’s most precious ecosystems, as they leverage their expertise to improve research and legislation.
“The adventure these women are about to embark on will give them an unparalleled view of one of the most remote locations on the planet. Antarctica not only provides early warnings of climate change – it also represents the fragility of our natural world, and why we need to protect it. We are excited to see how each person takes on this life-changing journey, and translates their learnings into actions,” says Pamela Sutton-Legaud, CEO of Homeward Bound, the global leadership initiative leading the voyage.
Departing on two voyages from Argentina, the cohort comprises women from 25 countries. The local cohort are already using their positions to pioneer change for a more sustainable future, and to increase gender equality in the STEMM sector.
From South Africa:
Gina Ziervogel is the Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), and an Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town in the Department of Environmental and Geographical Science.
Nirvani Dhevcharran is the Chief Technology Officer at the Foschini Group, and a board member of the Oprah Winfrey Academy for Girls.
Philista Malaki is a Research Scientist at the National Museums of Kenya, whose main interests are biodiversity conservation management and avian research.
Moreangels Muchaneta Mbizah is the Founder and Executive Director of Wildlife Conservation Action. She obtained her PhD in Zoology from the University of Oxford and strongly focuses on the intersections between conservation and community development.
“More than 50% percent of women in technology roles leave the industry before they turn 35. We exist to enable more women within this sector, by helping them harness the tools they need to excel in their industries – particularly in the fight for the sustainability of our planet. History and research also show that women and young girls in developing countries are the most negatively affected by climate change-related instances. The world needs to create a space for their ideas to be heard, as the drastic effects of climate change become more apparent globally,” says Sutton-Legaud.
Homeward Bound’s overall mission is to empower 10 000 women with a background in STEMM to lead, influence, collaborate and contribute to policy and decision-making towards a more sustainable future by 2036. Leading up to the departure, the women are immersed in a 12-month virtual leadership programme, to develop their leadership and strategic capabilities. On the voyage itself, they will be involved in continuous learning, during lectures, workshops, and networking sessions, all designed to help them harness their individual leadership skill sets in the fight for change and global sustainability.
“As this group embarks on this epic journey, they remind us that women in STEMM are not just the key to understanding our planet’s challenges; they are the architects of its solutions. Together, they inspire a global effort towards a more equal leadership landscape, and a more sustainable future for our world,” says Sutton-Legaud.
The first voyage (The Ushuaia) embarks on 3 November, from Ushuaia, Argentina, and the second (The Island Sky) embarks on 12 November from Puerto Madryn, also in Argentina. For more information about the cohort, and the organisation, visit www.HomewardBoundProjects.com.au.