Shaping a Sustainable Future: Largest All-Women Voyage to Antarctica
Photo Cred: Supplied

A groundbreaking voyage of 188 women in STEMM fields embarks for Antarctica, leading the charge for global sustainability.


Johannesburg, South Africa (19 October 2023) – An expedition of 188 women from all over the world, is setting sail to Antarctica in November on a collaborative mission to promote the long-term sustainability of the planet.

This remarkable expedition, coordinated by Homeward Bound, a global leadership initiative, stands as a beacon of hope, showcasing the incredible influence of women in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and medicine (STEMM) fields who are committed to protecting our planet.

The 19-day expedition represents a remarkable collaborative effort, with participants hailing from South Africa, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and 22 other countries. What unites them is not just their gender but their shared passion for environmental sustainability. These remarkable women are not only breaking barriers in their respective fields but also championing the cause of gender equality in STEMM.

“The adventure these women are about to embark on will give them an unparalleled view of one of the most remote locations on the planet. Antarctica not only provides early warnings of climate change – it also represents the fragility of our natural world, and why we need to protect it. We are excited to see how each person takes on this life-changing journey and translates their learnings into actions,” says Pamela Sutton-Legaud, the CEO of Homeward Bound.

From South Africa, we have outstanding trailblazers like Gina Ziervogel, the Director of the African Climate and Development Initiative, and Nirvani Dhevcharran, the Chief Technology Officer at the Foschini Group. In Kenya, Philista Malaki, a Research Scientist at the National Museums of Kenya, and from Zimbabwe, Moreangels Muchaneta Mbizah, the Founder and Executive Director of Wildlife Conservation Action, are leading the charge.

Shaping a Sustainable Future: Largest All-Women Voyage to Antarctica
Gina-Ziervogel | Photo Cred: Supplied
Shaping a Sustainable Future: Largest All-Women Voyage to Antarctica
Nirvani Dhevcharran | Photo Cred: Supplied

These women recognize that the time is now to address the gender imbalance in STEMM fields and to amplify the voices of women from developing countries who are most adversely affected by the impacts of climate change. The world needs to hear their ideas, and this voyage symbolizes a significant step in the right direction.

Homeward Bound’s mission extends beyond this expedition; their goal is to empower 10,000 women in STEMM to lead, influence, collaborate, and shape policy and decision-making by 2036. In preparation for their journey, these women have been engaged in a 12-month virtual leadership program to enhance their strategic and leadership capabilities. The voyage itself will be an immersive experience, filled with lectures, workshops, and networking sessions designed to harness their leadership skills for the betterment of our planet.

“As this group embarks on this epic journey, they remind us that women in STEMM are not just the key to understanding our planet’s challenges; they are the architects of its solutions. Together, they inspire a global effort towards a more equal leadership landscape and a more sustainable future for our world,” Sutton-Legaud emphasizes.

The two voyages, departing from Argentina, are sure to leave an indelible mark on the lives of these women and on the path to a sustainable future. The first voyage, The Ushuaia, sets sail on November 3, while the second voyage, The Island Sky, departs on November 12.

This all-women Antarctic expedition exemplifies the incredible accomplishments that can emerge when individuals from diverse backgrounds and nations unite for a shared purpose, serving as a heartening reminder that even in the midst of climate change and environmental trials, there is a bright ray of hope, carried by these exceptional women who are shaping a more sustainable future for everyone.

Shaping a Sustainable Future: Largest All-Women Voyage to Antarctica
Photo Cred: Supplied

Sources: Homeward Bound 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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