How i make it work... FABIAN DATTNER
NEXT MONTH, THE AUSTRALIAN LEADERSHIP EXPERT WILL TAKE 76 FEMALE SCIENTISTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD ON A VOYAGE TO ANTARCTICA – TURNING AN INSPIRING DREAM INTO A GLOBAL MOVEMENT
The idea of an all-female Antarctic expedition came to me in a dream. In late 2014, I dreamt I took 45 women on a ship for a state-of-the-art leadership program. The women were from different science backgrounds, and the expedition was called Homeward Bound. It was so vivid; I could see every detail of what we would do.
The day of the dream, I had eaten lunch with a group of women who were studying polar sciences and working in Antarctica. They joked that you had to have a beard to have a leadership role in polar sciences. They spoke about how often incredibly capable, collaborative women were passed over for men. I am not an angry person, but I came home with anger in my heart.
When I woke from my dream, I set the idea in motion. I wrote a paper about the voyage, the women and the purpose. The plan escalated quickly with the help of Jess Melbourne-thomas, a marine ecologist. The project is now fully funded and we have 76 women departing on the 20-day expedition next month.
The women are all highly qualified scientists, from zoologists to physicists, social scientists to doctors, and neuroscientists to vets. What will it be like to be on a ship with that much brain grunt? I have no idea, but it’s going to be f*cking awesome – and cold!
The ship is an icebreaker and will be like a well-stocked three-star hotel. They say it will be hot on board, but it’s going to be minus-10 degrees at night in Antarctica.
My hope is that every woman will be able to lead more effectively when they leave the ship. On top of that, she will know that she will never be alone at the leadership table again. From there, we will be able to impact the world.
Women want to lead for the greater good. I’m proposing that, for the best leadership, women should share the
table with men. Not to diminish them, but to bring strength to the table.
I am most looking forward to that moment on the ship when I will look at the faces of these committed people and this wonderful faculty, and I will say, “We did it.”
If you’ve ever wondered how a global movement begins, this is how it starts. And this is only the beginning.
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