The largest all-women voyage will in November embark on a transformative 19-day journey to Antarctica.
With 188 women from 25 countries in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM), Homeward Bound's groundbreaking initiative is a powerful stride towards global sustainability, empowering women to shape the future of our planet.
In a voyage that transcends boundaries and challenges stereotypes, the largest all-women expedition is gearing up to set sail for Antarctica this November, in a mission spearheaded by Homeward Bound, a global leadership initiative.
This diverse cohort of professionals in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) is on a 19-day quest to foster global sustainability and empower women as leaders in shaping the future of our planet.
Pamela Sutton-Legaud, CEO of Homeward Bound, expressed the profound importance of this venture, stating, "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."
The expedition, departing from Argentina on two vessels — The Ushuaia and The Island Sky — boasts a cohort of remarkable women from South Africa, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. These pioneers, already making significant contributions in their respective fields, are leveraging their expertise to advance research and legislation, with a specific focus on sustainability and gender equality in the STEMM sector.
Representatives from South Africa include Gina Ziervogel, Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative (ACDI), and Nirvani Dhevcharran, Chief Technology Officer at the Foschini Group. Philista Malaki, a Research Scientist at the National Museums of Kenya, joins the expedition from Kenya, while Moreangels Muchaneta Mbizah, Founder and Executive Director of Wildlife Conservation Action, represents Zimbabwe.
Sutton-Legaud underscored the urgency of encouraging more women within the STEMM sector, particularly in the context of climate change.
"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."
Homeward Bound's mission extends beyond this singular expedition; the initiative aims to empower 10,000 women in STEMM to lead, influence, collaborate, and contribute to policy and decision-making for a more sustainable future by 2036.
Leading up to the Antarctica expedition, the women are participating in a 12-month virtual leadership programme, enhancing their strategic capabilities. On the voyage, they will engage in continuous learning through lectures, workshops, and networking sessions, harnessing their leadership skills in the pursuit of global change.
"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," said Sutton-Legaud.
The two voyages, The Ushuaia and The Island Sky, embark on November 3 and 12, respectively. For more information about the cohort and the organisation, visit Homeward Bound. The expedition marks a significant stride towards gender equality in STEMM and underscores the pivotal role women play in addressing global challenges.