Merryn McKinnon one of five ANU women to take part in leadership expedition to Antarctica

Publication date
Friday, 21 Oct 2016

Five women from across the ANU campus are taking part in the inaugural Homeward Bound Australian-led leadership expedition to Antarctica.

Homeward Bound is a year-long program that involves 76 women internationally from a range of disciplines and levels. It culminates in an expedition to Antarctica from 2-21 December.

Participant Dr Merryn McKinnon from the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science said the aim of Homeward Bound is to bring global awareness to the cost of low numbers of women in leadership.

It's also a chance to highlight their potential contribution to both policy and decision making, especially those affecting the sustainability of our planet.

"You have equal numbers of men and women going into the sciences and in the senior levels 70-80 per cent of positions are held by men," Dr McKinnon said.

"The program is about addressing the inequality that exists in the leadership levels. It gives women the skills, confidence and connections that they need to take a seat and be effective at leadership tables within the STEM disciplines."

Fellow participant Nina McLean, a PhD candidate from the Research School of Biology, studies birds and climate change and how they are being impacted by warmer temperatures.

"It's after the PhD level that most women drop out of science. I'm hoping that I'll be more likely to stay in science and be more confident with the skills I've honed to move into a leadership position," Ms McLean said.

ANU participants include College of Engineering and Computer Science Dean Professor Elanor Huntington, Dr Ida Kubiszewski from the Crawford School of Public Policy, Professor Robyn Lucas, Director of the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Dr Merryn McKinnon from the Australian National Centre for the Public Awareness of Science and PhD Candidate Nina McLean from the Research School of Biology.

Courtesy of ANU News.