Last year, an expedition set sail to Antarctica in December.
You might wonder what makes this particular expedition worth mentioning, since scores of people taking up the challenge of reaching the other end of the world every year.
What makes this sojourn different is that the entire crew onboard consisted of 76 women from across the globe, making it the world’s largest all-woman expedition to Antarctica.
Now a new crew consisting of 80 women will unfurl their mast for a bigger expedition, Homeward Bound led by Australian activist Fabian Dattner, slated to begin in February 2018.
Purvi Gupta will represent India in this journey, whose participants are engaged in critical science disciplines and bringing global awareness to the lack of women in leadership positions.
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Purvi Gupta, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras with a degree in biotechnology engineering, will be part of the expedition that aims to raise awareness for the low representation of women in leadership positions, specifically in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine).
“I was fortunate enough to study engineering at IIT Madras in India, where only 10% of the cohort were girls. This was the first time I became conscious I was in the minority,” Purvi says.
Currently working for McKinsey & Co, London, Purvi is presently attending a year-long programme that will culminate in the three-week voyage to Antarctica. Participants from 13 countries join her in the initiative that seeks to develop leadership, strategic and communication capabilities.
Homeward Bound was originally conceptualised by Fabian along with Jess Melbourne Thomas, an Antarctic marine ecological modeller. The programme aims to building a strong global collaboration of women in science over the next 10 years, to network and skill these women set against the backdrop of Antarctica.