Homeward Bound: Empower Women in STEMM to Create Global Change

By Kerry J. Nickols

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Together we can create change

On December 31, 2018, I will join 79 fellow women in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine (STEMM) from 27 countries on a 3-week expedition to Antarctica, thus completing our year-long leadership journey. We are the third cohort of Homeward Bound, a groundbreaking leadership, strategic, and science initiative for women that seeks to equip a 1000-strong global collaboration of women to lead, influence, and contribute to policy and decision-making as it informs the future of our planet within 10 years. Each participant must seek sponsorships to fund their involvement in the program; I hope that you will consider supporting my participation and the global cause of advancing women in STEMM careers who are working to better the future of our planet.

Our call to action

There are many threats facing our planet, including overexploitation of resources and global climate change, but perhaps the biggest threat of all is an increasing disconnect between humans and the environment. We need strong leaders to stand up for our planet and emphasize our connection to Earth. We need leaders who exhibit empathy and compassion to empower people to make positive change in their communities and beyond. We also need to diversify the voices of our leaders. Women are underrepresented in leadership positions globally despite an increasing percentage attaining a college degree.

How Homeward Bound is making a difference

Homeward Bound accepts a cohort of 75-80 women into the program each year from a competitive process. The inaugural cohort was in 2016 and the 2018 cohort is currently in Antarctica. Each cohort undertakes a year-long state-of-the-art program to develop their leadership and strategic capabilities, using science to build conviction and enforece the importance of their voices. Homeward Bound is a 12-month leadership program, not just a 3-week trip to Antarctica. The Antarctic component of Homeward Bound is the summit of a year-long journey designed to best equip women for their role as a leader in the wider world. Over the year leading up to the voyage, there are monthly calls, leadership diagnostics, one-on-one and peer coaching, and group projects.

Why Antarctica?

Antarctica is one of the fastest changing regions on the globe due to human-caused climate change. It is without a doubt the most stunning place I have ever explored, and after my experience there on a research expedition in 2016 I am even more committed to my mission of educating students, the public, and policy makers about our connection to the planet and the threats we face. There is no other place on Earth that is as harsh as it is fragile - providing an ideal backdrop for women in STEMM to fully understand the science behind climate change and to develop our leadership skills to slow human impacts on the environment.

You can join us

Homeward Bound, based in Australia, is a not for profit organization and each participant is self-funded and must raise $16,000 to cover the costs of the ship, administrative costs, and hotel stays in Ushuaia, Argentina. I seek to raise an additional $4000 to cover the costs of airfare from Los Angeles, California, to Ushuaia, Argentina, travel insurance for the duration of the trip, and extreme weather gear. The success of this program, and my participation, depends on your sponsorship.

I hope that you will consider joining my leadership journey and contribute to the global cause of advancing women in STEMM careers and the many lives we will influence as leaders. Please share this page with friends, family, colleagues, media, industry, or organziations that support women in science and want to help protect our environment. If I exceed my campaign target I will donate the surplus funds to the Homeward Bound scholarship program to provide an opportunity for women in countries most affected by climate change to participate in this global initiative. If you would like to sponsor me to wear your logo or represent your brand, please contact me.

And there are perks for your support!

Get a Homeward Bound bag with a logo designed by science illustrator Andrea Dingeldein. Design revealed soon! Or how about a postcard from Antarctica? Or a photo that captures the incredible land of ice?

About me

My name is Kerry Nickols and I am a professor of marine biology at California State University Northridge. My research addresses marine protected areas and climate change. My mission is to educate students, the public, and policy makers about our connection to the planet and the threats we face, so that we can move forward with tractable solutions. Through this leadership program I will also develop my skills as a mentor so that I may empower others to act. Homeward Bound will provide an unparalleled opportunity for me to learn from and work with women from around the world to further our collective goal of deepening our society’s connection to Earth. You can find out more about me here.


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Kerry J. Nickols

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