February 11, 2020
Reef Check Australia is proud to celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11 by showcasing the tremendous achievements of our General Manager, Jodi Salmond.
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was launched by the United Nations General Assembly to try and work towards “full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”.
In a bold bid to tackle the global dearth of women leaders in STEMM, Jodi Salmond, a marine biologist and the General Manager for Reef Check Australia, is taking her commitment to leadership to the end of the earth after being chosen as a Homeward Bound participant.
Homeward Bound is a global 12-month leadership initiative for women with a background in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine). It aims to equip a 1000-strong collaboration of women with the skills to demonstrate a new model of leadership, to create better outcomes for our planet.
Research repeatedly shows that while women demonstrate great integrity and a legacy mindset when it comes to leadership, decision-making and the creation of collaborative and effective teams, they are overwhelmingly under-represented in the traditionally male-dominated professions.
Founded in 2016, the Homeward Bound program was literally a dream of Australian leadership expert Fabian Dattner, who believed the world needed a program to unlock the leadership potential of outstanding women in STEMM, to upskill and support them to lead, influence and contribute to decision-making about the future of our planet.
‘The aim of Homeward Bound has always been to identify and foster outstanding leadership potential in STEMM and Jodi is exactly the kind of person I had in mind when I dreamt of this program,’ Fabian said.
With only 80 participants selected in 2019, it came as no surprise to the team at Reef Check Australia that Jodi was chosen for this honour. A passionate marine researcher, under the water, she trains divers in global reef health monitoring protocols; above it, she engages the community through hands on research, education, and personal development to encourage everyone to become the best versions of themselves and to look after the planet.
Jodi’s year-long training started in November 2019, and will culminate in a 3-week expedition to Antarctica in 2020; an exciting journey to one of the most remote places on the planet. The journey is the opportunity for Jodi and her 79 peers to solidify their learnings and work on global collaboration for the greater good.
Around the world, reefs are facing a hugely uncertain future due to pollution, development, climate change and heavy human use of ocean environments. In fact, climate change has been identified as the greatest threat to the future of coral reefs around the world; and science and technology alone aren’t going to save them. We need people power. We need action. And we need it now.
In Jodi’s own words “The women of Homeward Bound are doers. We are not prepared to wait for someone else to do something. We want to represent women in science. We want to make an impact in tackling climate change. We want to change the world. And we want to do that now.”
Visit reefcheckaustralia.org to find out how to get involved, what changes you can make in your everyday actions to make a difference or set up a monthly donation – any amount no matter how small will help to protect our reefs and oceans.