Launch a STEM Superhero

By Kelsie Clarke

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Launch me on my Antarctic journey

This coming New Year's Eve, I will be setting sail to the southernmost point of the world, Antarctica, on the journey of a lifetime. I will be travelling with 80 women in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) from around the world, following a year of groundbreaking leadership, strategy and science training.

Support and join me on my Homeward Bound journey!

While the program is partially subsidised by in-kind contributions, each participant must cover approximately AU$25,000 of costs. Your support will enable me to reach my full potential to take part in the program and inspire countless others to follow in my footsteps.

You will not only be supporting me for the length of the program but your support will enable me to grow as a visible leader so that I can empower other women to pursue and succeed in STEM careers.

I cannot thank you enough for your support!

Who is Kelsie Clarke?

I am a Civil/Structural Engineer, a passionate STEM ambassador, diversity champion and all round superhero.

I have been working for the past four years since graduating with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from the University of Newcastle in 2014. Originally hailing from Newcastle, Australia, I currently work as a System Engineer with Woodside Energy, based in the Pilbara region, Western Australia.

I am also a Board member of Engineers Without Borders Australia. I started my journey with EWB as a student member progressing to being the President of EWB WA before my current position as a board member. I am super passionate about the pathway that humanitarian engineering offers in attracting a diverse range of people to the engineering profession.

I am an advocate of inclusion and diversity in STEM. I volunteer as a mentor for women in engineering programs, have spoken at schools, have run countless STEM activities for students, and hold a Strategy and Planning role with my company's gender equality group.

I won the Emerging Talent category of the Australia Subsea Business Awards in 2016 and now I am so excited to be taking part in Homeward Bound 2019.

Homeward Bound will equip me with the skills to become a future leader in engineering and will enable me to showcase the far-reaching possibilities within the STEM profession for the next generation of women and girls.

Why Do We Need More Women in STEM?

Globally and in Australia, women are underrepresented in STEM and leadership positions.

Within Australia, women engineers make up about 13% of the total pool of engineers. The number of women engineering graduates has been increasing, however at extremely slow rates (women graduates make up about 15% of the total pool).

Despite making up 45% of the global workforce, women are globally underrepresented in leadership positions. Within Australia, women make up just under 25% of directors and 16.5% of CEOs. However, in Western Australia, women in leadership positions fare poorly to other States, with half the national average of female directors and less than half the number of female CEOs.

Gender equality is good for business and for society, resulting in increased national productivity and economic growth, organisational performance and also increases the pool of talent available for organisations.

We collectively need to create a world where our daughters and sons are empowered to pursue and succeed in any career of their choice, free of stereotypes or outdated norms. Equally, we also need a create a world where both women and men are enabled to spend time with their family without any stigma attached. Gender equality absolutely benefits both men and women.

This is where Homeward Bound comes in...

Homeward Bound is an innovative global leadership initiative for women with a background in science. Homeward Bound, launched in 2016, aims to heighten the influence and impact of women in STEM, to shape policy and decision making as it shapes our planet. The 12-month program develops leadership, visibility and strategic capabilities and culminates in a three-week leadership intensive and expedition to Antarctica. Homeward Bound is led by a global faculty, including Dr Jane Goodall, Dr Robert Kaplan, and Christiana Figueres and aims to form a network of 1000 women in STEM from around the globe over 10 years.

Why Antarctica?

Regions of Antarctica are showing the fastest responses to some of the global sustainability problems we currently face. Antarctica offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe first hand the influence of human activities on the environment and provide critical insights into the global-scale change required. This iconic environment has captured the imagination of leaders in the past and will continue to do so in the future.

Make Me Part of the Solution

Pledge your support to gender equality by supporting an early career woman in engineering to make her place in the world.

About half of the costs are funded by the Dattner Grant and other corporate funders, however each woman is expected to fund the rest of the costs.

Your pledge will help cover:

  • 19 day journey on the vessel: AU$17,000
  • Return flights: AU$4,000
  • Travel insurance, equipment and other expenses: AU$4,000

I will be self-funding the component of the total cost that I am unable to raise through crowdfunding, so every amount, no matter how small, will mean the world!

To keep up with my journey, to get in touch or for media enquiries:

To keep up to date with all things Homeward Bound:

Photos © Oli Sansom / Homeward Bound / Kelsie Clarke

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Kelsie Clarke