Homeward Bound - your chance to support women in leadership and science
Who am I?
My name is Mary McMillan, and I am a scientist, nature lover, and mother. I work as a Lecturer in Biomedical Science at the University of New England in Armidale, NSW Australia. There I am involved in research which looks at the contribution of genetics to mental health disorders, and ways we may be able to better diagnose and treat such conditions. I teach my students genetics, biology, and physiology, and enjoy spending as much time as I can at the lab bench. I also love being involved in science outreach activities, and sharing my passion for science with primary and high school students.
I am fortunate enough to be one of 75 women from around the world who have been selected to participate in the 2018/19 Homeward Bound Leadership program for women in science. This program will help develop the leadership and strategic skills necessary for me to move forward in my academic and research career, and to help me inspire the next generation of young scientists.
What is Homeward Bound?
Homeward Bound is a groundbreaking leadership, strategic and science initiative for women, set against the backdrop of Antarctica. The initiative aims to heighten the influence and impact of women with a science background in order to influence policy and decision making as it shapes our planet, within 10 years. In 2016, Homeward Bound gathered the first 76 of a targeted 1,000 women from around the world, all with critical science backgrounds, to undertake a year-long state-of-the-art program to develop their leadership and strategic capabilities, using science to build conviction around the importance of their voices. The project objectives are:
To elevate each participant’s leadership capabilities.
To educate the team on the science of what is happening to our planet.
To refine participants’ skills to design and execute strategy,
To create plans for future collaborations as women working towards a sustainable future.
These objectives are delivered through a 12 month virtual leadership program, culminating in an approximately 3 week long sea voyage to Antarctica, setting sail from Ushuaia in Argentina. You can learn more about the Homeward Bound project here: https://homewardboundprojects.com.au/
Why support women in STEM?
Globally, women are underrepresented in leadership positions and change has been incredibly slow, despite increasing dialogue and process/systems changes. Women are emerging from college degrees as significant percentages of graduates and they take up a significant percentage of our workforce. However, they are in the profound minority globally when it comes to executive decision making roles. By giving women the leadership and strategic skills, a sound understanding of the science, and a strong purposefully developed network they will be able to impact policy and decisions towards a sustainable future.
How will your donation help?
Although participation in the Homeward Bound program is subsidised via in-kind contributions, each participant must cover approximately AU$25,000 of costs. I have committed to funding a significant portion of this cost myself, but need your help to fund the remainder of my leadership journey. Any support or contribution, no matter how big or small, is gratefully received. If you are not in a position to help financially, you can still help by spreading the word, and are welcome to follow along on my journey through my social media channels. Instagram: @theaccidentalscientist Twitter: @maryemcmillan