ACT participants (from left to right): Jay Gomboso (Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences), Samia Elfekih (CSIRO), Andrea Parisi (ANU), Amelia Tandy (CSIRO)
In a bold bid to tackle the global dearth of women leaders in STEMM, Dr. Andrea Parisi, a medical doctor and PhD candidate at the Research School of Population Health, is taking her commitment to leadership to the end of the Earth, Antarctica, after being chosen as a Homeward Bound participant.
Homeward Bound is a global 12-month leadership initiative for women with a background in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine) which aims to prompt women into leadership positions, and enhance their influence toward the sustainability of the planet and the greater good of all people.
“While research repeatedly shows that women demonstrate great integrity when it comes to leadership, decision-making and the creation of collaborative and effective teams, they are overwhelmingly under-represented in the traditionally male-dominated professions such are STEMM disciplines and their voice is often missing from the table when it comes to important decisions that shape future of our planet,” Dr. Parisi says.
“For example, in the United States, women currently make up nearly half (48 percent) of the workforce, but hold less than 18 percent of leadership roles at top tech companies,” she adds.
“Even though I grew up in a country where people are generally discouraged to share their new ideas, and particularly women are not expected to aspire to high leadership positions, I always felt that I need to take every opportunity to go against these social stereotypes and try to change the way the world works for women, the reason why I applied for this program,” Dr. Parisi says.
Founded in 2016 by Australian leadership expert Fabian Dattner, the program aims to reach 1000 participants in the decade.
The program includes online learning to increase leadership capacity, strategic capability and collaboration, and culminates in a meeting of all 100 participants encompassing 33 nationalities and 25 STEMM disciplines in Ushuaia, Argentina before embarking on a life-changing expedition to one of the most ecologically sensitive and inspiring areas on Earth, Antarctica, at the end of 2019.
Dr. Parisi is a Czech medical doctor, tutor, researcher, and humanitarian worker currently finalising her PhD studies in the field of infectious disease epidemiology.
Photo: ACT participants (from left to right): Jay Gomboso (Australian Bureau of Agricultural
and Resource Economics and Sciences), Samia Elfekih (CSIRO), Andrea Parisi (ANU), Amelia Tandy (CSIRO)