December 2016 saw the largest-ever all female expedition to Antarctica. Equipped with their message “Mother Nature Needs Her Daughters”, 76 women with a background in science came together to show the importance of having more female leaders and the need to cooperate globally in order to protect our planet. This was the inaugural voyage of the ground-breaking leadership initiative called Homeward Bound.
Typically women lead with more empathy and have a more open and inclusive negotiation style, but female leaders are still in a profound minority. Homeward Bound’s ambition is to establish a network of women aiming to develop their leadership capabilities in order to introduce more female influence on policy and decision making.
Hannah Laeverenz Schlogelhofer, a Blackheath High School alumna, has been selected to join the next group of women who will participate in this empowering initiative. A team of international experts in leadership, science, strategy and visibility will be donating their time and expertise to deliver this year-long programme, which will culminate in a 3-week expedition to Antarctica departing from Ushuaia, Argentina, in February 2018.
Why Antarctica? Regions of this iconic and beautiful continent are currently showing some of the fastest responses to climate change seen anywhere on the planet. By journeying to this wild and unique environment, Homeward Bound expects the experience to spark important conversations, inspire action and lead to extraordinary collaborations between the women.
Hannah was at Blackheath High School all the way from reception to Year 13. After completing her A-levels she went on to study Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge. She is now a PhD student at Cambridge working at the interface between Physics and Biology. Her research focuses on the world of single cell life, aiming to understand the dynamics of how nutrients are exchanged between algae and bacteria. These organisms are important in shaping ecosystems and determining how biogeochemical cycles might be affected by changes in climate. Algae have the potential to provide sustainable biotechnology solutions, for example, in the food industry and for wastewater treatment.
Now that Hannah has been selected to join Homeward Bound 2018, she is raising the necessary funds to really make it happen.
Women and science need a louder, more effective voice in political and commercial debates. Hannah is excited to be joining Homeward Bound’s growing, collaborative community and to discover what they can achieve together. She is determined to make the most of this opportunity, to find ways to share the experience and its outcomes as widely as possible and to make a positive contribution towards a more sustainable future.