Have you ever asked yourself: What can we do to help raise the voice of women in science in their fight against climate change? We might have some answers.
At the recent event of the SHE@LuxSE group, scientist Alexandra Dubini, a molecular biologist, shared insights from her participation in the second edition of the Homeward Bound Program. Fabian Dattner, an Australian activist for women’s leadership, and Dr. Jess-Melbourne, an Antarctic scientist, created Homeward Bound in 2015. The project is to send 80 different women every year on a 1-month boat trip to Antarctica, after having trained them for several months on women leadership.
“Women in science are too often under-represented. Giving them the necessary tools to express their opinions and leadership will enable society to make faster progress in finding solutions to climate change,” explains Alexandra Dubini. “But this is not just about women: it has been proven that mixed-gender teams have higher productivity.”
The program offers its participants trainings on leadership, strategy and visibility. The idea is for 80 women to learn how to become a good leader, to define their own objectives and to use adapted tools to achieve them.
“The human aspect of the trip was incredible. Being with 80 talented women – including a Nobel Prize winner – made me realise that we can be part of the change. Of course, being disconnected from the outside world was not easy, but it called for introspection.”
During the trip, the participants had the opportunity to visit six scientific investigation bases to discover and understand the research made in Antarctica; some bases were managed by women.
“Nature is truly incredible. The landscapes were breathtaking, but even there we saw plastic waste. Ice melting is not a hoax at all. We have to work together to find a common strategy if we want to make a difference,” Alexandra adds.
Homeward Bound’s third expedition came back from Antarctica a few weeks ago. The fourth team has begun the pre-departure training and the fifth one is being selected.