Homeward Bound Leadership for Deb

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  • Diversity improves science and yet female leaders are drastically underrepresented in senior science positions.
  • Homeward Bound is a one year program providing leadership skills & resources to women in science.
  • James Cook University Postdoctoral Scientist Debbie Bower was selected to join the 2018-2019 cohort.
  • Debbie is passionate about equality in Science and supporting researchers from developing countries.
  • Debbie is raising funds to complete the leadership program including travel to Antarctica. Deb will join 70 Women in Science as part of a global network for change.


Women in Science

What does a scientist look like? When we look at senior level scientists and mathematics dominated fields, diversity is scarce. One major bias around the world is the lack of women in these roles (1). Despite the ability of women to perform well in science, we see few women in senior positions. Women face biased beliefs about their academic ability starting at a young age (2-5) and despite advances to reduce these biases, complex issues around child rearing and gendered expectations in the academic system are also important contributing factors (6). Change begins by identifying and challenging these norms. Increasing positive role models that expose girls to career opportunities in science and facilitating home-work balance are needed. We know that diverse teams achieve better scientific outcomes (7) so finding ways to keep women in science is a priority that will benefit the world.


Homeward Bound

Deb is raising funds to complete the Homeward Bound leadership program developed specifically for women in science. Deb has been selected as one of 70 participants to create a global network for change. She will spend a year completing leadership training through online lectures and networking discussions. In January 2019, Deb’s cohort will meet in Argentina and travel on a 3-week voyage to Antarctica to revise and complete their training. The experience aims to provide women with development in leadership by:

  • teaching strategies to influence and create impact,
  • establishing a global collaborative community,
  • raising the profile of women leaders;
  • providing personal coaches with female mentors;
  • teaching effective tools to write and share.

At the completion of the course Deb will share her results through workshops at universities and schools, online videos, written pieces and open discussions.


Deb’s Research

Deb’s research focuses on conservation of lesser-loved wildlife like reptiles and frogs. Though the vast majority of the research in the world occurs on charismatic wildlife, a whole range of organisms are important to maintain the health of planet. Frogs are particularly pertinent to conservation because 40% of species are threatened with extinction. Deb’s research includes finding ways to manage invasive species such as parasitic fungi and toads, improving water practices to benefit wildlife, and designing policies to help save biodiversity threatened from disease. Currently she works in north Queensland, Arnhem Land and Papua New Guinea using acoustic calls of frogs to monitor populations, trying to document biodiversity and create strategies to protect wildlife in the future. Through her research career Deb also supports students in Honours, Masters and PhD research to explore their own questions to assist conservation.

 

Deb’s Mission

Deb is passionate about equality and diversity in the world and especially in science. She has taught frog biology to year 2 children through dance in Mongolia, volunteered in a conservation organisation for a year in Madagascar and held community frog catching events for school-children back in Australia. Today Deb continues her work supporting students and researchers and providing academic support to scientists with English as a second language. She hopes to create opportunities to increase capacity for underrepresented groups in science through partnering with industries that can benefit from diversity.


Fundraising

Deb is raising funds to complete the Homeward Bound Leadership course and raise the profile of women in science. She aims to use this experience to raise issues about equality in science and the biases that face underrepresented minorities. She will spend the next year focusing on leadership, training and networking to learn the skills to create impact. You are invited to support Deb’s mission either financially, or by sharing her cause. She is required to contribute course and voyage costs of US$16000 and your donation is truly appreciated. A single person can make a world of change. Let’s make that change positive.



Feel free to contact Deb

Deborah.Bower@jcu.edu.au

@Deborah_bower


You can read more about gender inequality in science here:

1          Sugimoto, C. R., Lariviere, V., Ni, C., Gingras, Y. & Cronin, B. Global gender disparities in science. Nature 504, 211-213 (2013).

2          Del Río, M. F. & Strasser, K. Preschool children’s beliefs about gender differences in academic skills. Sex roles 68, 231-238 (2013).

3          Moss-Racusin, C. A., Dovidio, J. F., Brescoll, V. L., Graham, M. J. & Handelsman, J. Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 109, 16474-16479 (2012).

4          Lerback, J. & Hanson, B. Journals invite too few women to referee. Nature 541, 455-457 (2017).

5          Reuben, E., Sapienza, P. & Zingales, L. How stereotypes impair women’s careers in science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111, 4403-4408 (2014).

6          Ceci, S. J. & Williams, W. M. Understanding current causes of women's underrepresentation in science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108, 3157-3162 (2011).

7          Nielsen, M. W. et al. Opinion: Gender diversity leads to better science. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114, 1740-1742 (2017).

Budget Overview

Fundraising

Deb is raising funds to complete the Homeward Bound Leadership course and raise the profile of women in science. She aims to use this experience to raise issues about equality in science and the biases that face underrepresented minorities. She will spend the next year focusing on leadership, training and networking to learn the skills to create impact. You are invited to support Deb’s mission either financially, or by sharing her cause. She is required to contribute course and voyage costs of US$16000 and your donation is truly appreciated. A single person can make a world of change. Let’s make that change positive.

Potential Challenges

Savings will be used to cover costs that are not fundraised.

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