Homeward Bound is an Australian organization dedicated to helping women achieve leadership positions in the field of science, though ironically, the mentorship program has been plagued by the prevalence of sexual harassment during the program’s three-week long Antarctic voyage. Perhaps the worst part? Women who have reported concerns feel silenced by the organization. “Their belief is that Homeward Bound is not yet a safe space for women, even as it works toward making science more inclusive of them.” Read Eve Andrews’ piece at Grist.
The women who wrote to me, all alumnae of Homeward Bound’s inaugural Antarctic voyage, alleged that, rather than working to remove barriers that stymie women scientists, the trip was plagued by them. They noted several instances of sexual harassment and bullying, and one participant alleged a disturbing episode of what she labeled “sexual coercion” at the hands of one of the ship’s crew. Much of that environment of hostility was perpetuated, they say, by Homeward Bound’s leadership and faculty.