A group of six women in Western Australia, who are passionate about science, equity and the environment, are heading to the Antarctica in February 2018 for three weeks.
Living in Perth, the women from diverse countries, will join the largest female expedition, connecting participants from all around the world for ‘Homeward Bound’, an intensive leadership program for women in science that culminates in an expedition in the South Pole, where the average temperature is a shivering minus 55ºC.
The WA team has three members from UWA, Veronique Florec, Post-doctoral Researcher in the School of Agriculture and Environment, Rachel Zombor, Clinical Neuropsychology Practicum Supervisor in the School of Psychological Science, and Jessica Kretzmann, PhD student in the School of Molecular Sciences. The other team members are Valerie Sage, Senior Research Scientist CSIRO Energy WA and Anais Pages, Research Scientist CSIRO, and Jessica Brainard, Curator, New Museum Project, Western Australia Museum.
Dr Florec whose research focuses on improving the management of our natural environment through social, environmental and economic factors said this would be a challenging and powerful experience, for which she was psychologically preparing herself.
“The program develops a powerful network of connected women from all over the world. It also promotes female leadership in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine.
“It’s important that we get more women interested in these fields. It’s proven that gender balanced teams are more productive and efficient, so this program will have a huge impact for women all over the world,” said Dr Florec.
The vision of Homeward Bound over the next decade is to equip a 1000-strong global collaboration of women with a science background to lead, influence and contribute to policy and decision-making as it informs the future of our planet.
The 12-month program develops leadership, communication, visibility and strategic capabilities and culminates in the journey to the Antarctica leaving from Ushuaia, Argentina.