Sci­en­tist bound for Antarc­tic voy­age

Pilbara News - - News - Louise Alling­ham

Ex­mouth ma­rine re­searcher Sa­man­tha Reynolds has been se­lected to be part of in­ter­na­tional women’s science lead­er­ship ini­tia­tive Home­ward Bound.

Ms Reynolds is one of 70 women from all over the world who are part of the 2018 co­hort of the Home­ward Bound ini­tia­tive, which in­cludes a three­week trip to Antarc­tica in Fe­bru­ary.

Home­ward Bound aims to bring to­gether 1000 women with strong sci­en­tific back­grounds and de­velop their lead­er­ship skills to give them a stronger voice within the in­dus­try.

Ms Reynolds said she was “com­pletely awed” when she found out she had been cho­sen for the pro­gram. “I didn’t think I had a chance, and most of the women who joined said the same thing but it’s amaz­ing to be a part of such an in­cred­i­ble group of women,” she said.

“There’s some amaz­ing women in this group, so I’m pretty hon­oured to be part of it.”

As part of the pro­gram, Ms Reynolds will take part in a vir­tual lead­er­ship pro­gram in the lead-up to the Antarc­tica voy­age.

“We have smaller groups of women within the group of 70 and we’re do­ing some projects,” she said. “We have video con­fer­ence links with the whole group and we’re get­ting lead­er­ship men­tor­ing . . . it’s build­ing up our ca­pac­ity.”

Home­ward Bound aims to ad­dress the dis­par­ity of women in science lead­er­ship roles. “I think women are still un­der­rep­re­sented in science and academia,” Ms Reynolds said.

“The ra­tio of peo­ple go­ing to un­der­grad science cour­ses is 50:50, I think, but then by the time you get up to the lead­er­ship po­si­tions, there’s a hug bias to­wards males in these po­si­tions.

“Ob­vi­ously, we just don’t want women to be in charge, but dif­fer­ent lead­er­ship styles are im­por­tant to have and women bring a dif­fer­ent lead­er­ship style to the ta­ble. I think it’s im­por­tant to em­brace di­ver­sity and be in­clu­sive of all dif­fer­ent types of lead­er­ship.”

Ms Reynolds is seek­ing dona­tions and spon­sor­ship for the voy­age.

To do­nate, visit chuffed.org. au/project/spon­sor-a-sci­en­tist.

Pic­ture: Ja­nine Marx

Sa­man­tha Reynolds of Ex­mouth swims with a whale shark off Nin­ga­loo Reef.

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