Homeward Bound: A Global Leadership Initiative for Women in STEMM




This post reflects the experiences of Irene Tierney MCIEEM and was written on behalf of the Academia Special Interest Group. 

Irene Tierney is the Director and Principal Ecologist at IMTeco Ltd, an ecological consultancy whose main clients are the renewables industry. She is a lecturer in Environmental Sciences at Abertay University, Dundee. During her role as researcher, consultant and lecturer, Irene has considered how to lead more effectively and develop her leadership skills to achieve more impact towards creating positive global change. During her search she was introduced to the leadership programme created by Homeward Bound.

Irene applied last year and was accepted onto their programme for the HB7 cohort.

People are concerned about what is happening to our planet, whether it is the climate crisis, biodiversity crisis, poverty, education or gender. How did we get here and what can we do about it? How do we move forward, make decisions and lead to a better future?

Homeward Bound is a transformational leadership initiative for women with a background in STEMM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, medicine), from around the world.

Homeward Bound believes that supporting women in STEMM will enhance their opportunity to take up leadership roles globally, by improving their clarity, confidence, shared vision and strategic capabilities, and proactively contributing to a sustainable world, both individually and collectively. It has a vision that ‘By 2036, we aim to build a global collaboration of 10,000 women with backgrounds in STEMM. They will be visible, collaborative, networked and impacting the decisions made in many quarters for the greater good.’

The programme involves a 12-month strategic and science online programme, with a global meet up at the end. In previous years this has involved a trip to Antarctica, which has been key to enabling the community to take the online component and work towards a sustainable future, individually, in teams and as a whole.

The programme has four core components – leadership, strategy, visibility and science. The key components are woven together into an integrated programme, delivered by a global expert faculty. There is a commitment that involves from 10 to 20 hours per month for the online content and includes collaborations, upskilling, personal diagnostics and one-to-one coaching.

This can be a challenging programme but has amazing benefits that includes expanding self-awareness and potentially changing entrenched behaviours.

As part of the HB7 cohort, Irene has already met some amazing women that she will be working with this year, and is excited about meeting more, getting to know them, getting to know their work, collaborate and expand my horizons. Irene is inspired and thrilled to be part of Team HB7, working to promote women in STEMM and their leadership roles in creating positive global change.

If you are curious and want more information click here.

Irene’s link at Homeward Bound can be found here.