Priyanka Das Rajkakati Aerospace Engineer | Artist

Upcoming voyage to Antarctica!

#HB5 Departure to Antarctica

Homeward Bound is a global 12-month leadership initiative for women with a background in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine), which aims to equip a 1000-strong collaboration of women with the skills to demonstrate a new model of leadership, to create better outcomes for our planet. The programme has been featured multiple times in the media, including Forbes, Time and Vogue.

For the 2019-20 edition, Homeward Bound is welcoming 80 participants into its fifth program, encompassing more than 25 nationalities and a hugely diverse representation of STEMM fields. Homeward Bound is now nearly halfway towards achieving its vision of creating a global collaboration of 1000 women leaders with STEMM backgrounds.

Seventy-six women from around the world, participants on the inaugural Homeward Bound Women In Science Leadership Expedition to Antarctica.
PHOTO CREDIT Dr. Shelley Ball.

Research repeatedly shows that while women demonstrate great integrity and a legacy mindset when it comes to leadership, decision-making and the creation of collaborative and effective teams, they are overwhelmingly under-represented in the traditionally male-dominated professions. This is especially true of women in STEMM fields. For example, in the United States, women currently make up nearly half (48 percent) of the workforce, but hold less than 18 percent of leadership roles at top tech companies.

Founded in 2016, the program was literally a dream of Australian leadership expert Fabian Dattner, who believed the world needed a program to unlock the leadership potential of outstanding women in STEMM, to upskill and support them to lead, influence and contribute to decision-making about the future of our planet. This 12-month program includes online learning to increase leadership capacity, strategic capability, visibility and collaboration, and culminates in a meeting of all 80 participants in Ushuaia, Argentina before embarking on a life-changing voyage to one of the most ecologically sensitive and inspiring areas on Earth, Antarctica, at the end of 2020.

Fabian Dattner in Antarctica photo 2016 Homeward Bound

In the words of Fabian Dattner:

"The aim of Homeward Bound has always been to identify and foster outstanding leadership potential in STEMM... It is no accident that we end up in Antarctica, as it is part of the vision. It is where we can see the impact of our crisis of leadership and inaction first-hand. It is sensitive and challenging, awe-inspiring and motivating, and I can think of no more fitting experience for a group of leaders."

Laubeuf Fjord with Webb Island by Vincent van Zeijst.

It's quite an incredible honour to have been selected for the fifth edition of the initiative. As someone who feels very strongly about encouraging young girls to pursue Science and dare to dream about Space, I am involved in a lot of programs and initiatives for outreach. However, more than just good intent, such initiatives require momentum and being part of Homeward Bound will definitely help me with my cause.

Moreover, being an engineer doesn’t necessarily make one a good leader. I truly look forward to this programme as it is indeed an entire package: a leadership training for women in STEM, networking with future global leaders (some already famous!) and finally, a chance to challenge my physical limits by going to Antarctica.