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An evaluation of a leadership development programme for women in STEMM in Antarctica


Nash, M and Moore, R, An evaluation of a leadership development programme for women in STEMM in Antarctica, The Polar Journal, 8, (1) pp. 110-125. ISSN 2154-896X (2018) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group

DOI: doi:10.1080/2154896X.2018.1468629


In this paper, we explore the advantages and challenges of combining transformational tourism in Antarctica with a transformational leadership development programme for women. Our case study is a three-week leadership development course in Antarctica for women in STEMM that had the express purpose of increasing female leadership and visibility in the domain of climate change. Using a feminist sociological approach, we argue that synthesising transformational leadership development and transformational tourism in Antarctica has the potential to augment the effectiveness of both experiences and is particularly apt, given the programme’s focus on climate change. Travelling to Antarctica as a group facilitated the development of strong bonds between the women, an important design feature of women’s leadership development programmes. Additionally, exposure to the Antarctic landscape provided scope for awe-inspiring experiences that enhanced these relational bonds and led women to reflect on and/or challenge their views of themselves and their place in the world. We conclude that leadership development programmes for women in STEMM could be further strengthened by addressing gender essentialism. We also focus on issues associated with using Antarctica as a "stage" for climate protection – namely, the problematic depiction of women as "naturally" virtuous regarding environmental management.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:women in STEMM, feminism, Antarctica, leadership, women's leadership development programme
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Nash, M (Associate Professor Meredith Nash)
UTAS Author:Moore, R (Dr Robyn Moore)
ID Code:127541
Year Published:2018
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2018-08-02
Last Modified:2019-07-30

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