In 2018, I got the incredible opportunity, together with 78 other female scientists to participate in a world-class leadership, strategic and science initiative: The Homeward Bound Program, which culminated with a 3-weeks intensive training in Antarctica. The program’s bold mission is, over the next 10 years, to create a 1000-strong collective of women in science around the world with the enhanced capacity to influence policy and decision making for the benefit of the planet.
This experience has been a pivotal moment from a career and personal growth perspective. I have witnessed how much getting out of our comfort zone and be more visible to others (to let the world know we exist) can help open up opportunities. As a result of my participation to Homeward Bound and some scientific prizes I received that year, I have been contacted by fascinating people from various fields of work, from researchers and teachers to entrepreneurs, start-ups, and industries.
The more visible I have been, the more unexpected opportunities have come to me. All these connections have broadened my research approach to food security and global change and helped me shape my vision, purpose, and values. Spending 3 weeks in Antarctica with a very diverse group of incredible women has also reminded me the value of diversity. Let’s be authentic and foster an open space in which all voices are heard, from the shyest to the most extraverted ones, from the conservative to the provocative ones.
It’s more than time to embrace our individuality, diversity and reflect on our dreams and values.