Veterinary Technology leadership tackles global lack of women leaders in STEMM

In an effort to tackle a global lack of women leaders in STEMM, Dr. Virginia Corrigan, director of Appalachian State University’s new four-year online program in veterinary technology, has committed to leading a more sustainable future for our planet after being chosen as a participant in the global Homeward Bound initiative.

Homeward Bound is a 12-month leadership initiative for women with a background in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine). It aims to equip a 10,000-strong collaboration of women with the skills to demonstrate a new model of leadership and to create better outcomes for our planet.

It is widely acknowledged that women in STEMM fields are underrepresented in leadership globally. For example, in the United States, women currently make up nearly half (48 percent) of the workforce but hold less than 18 percent of leadership roles at top tech companies.

This 12-month program includes online learning to increase leadership capacity, strategic capability, visibility and collaboration. In previous years, this culminates in a global meetup of all 100 participants in Ushuaia, Argentina before embarking on a life-changing voyage to one of the most ecologically sensitive and inspiring areas on Earth, Antarctica. However, until global travel is again safe and equitable this element of the program is on hold. 

The Homeward Bound selectors noted that Corrigan’s expertise in the area of veterinary medicine and her potential to lead and enact change made her a natural choice for the highly sought-after leadership program.

“There has never been a better time to think creatively about solutions that will make a positive impact. Veterinary medicine is a profession that is uniquely positioned in that the work we do not only impacts the health of animals but also people and the environment. The challenges that exist in today’s workforce crisis in veterinary medicine lead to opportunities to empower the leaders of tomorrow to be the change they wish to see in this profession ” Corrigan explained.

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. 

About the Homeward Bound Initiative
Founded in 2016, the 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 Virginia is exactly the kind of person I had in mind when I dreamt of this program,” said Fabian.

Homeward Bound welcomed over 100 participants into its seventh program in 2022, encompassing more than 20 nationalities and a hugely diverse representation of STEMM fields.

Homeward Bound’s vision is to create a global collaborative network of 10,000 women leaders with STEMM backgrounds by 2036, working for a sustainable future for our planet.


About the Department of Rural Resilience and Innovation
A unit within the College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University which serves as a hub for those working on scholarship, teaching and service with rural community partners. Learn more at

About App State Online
Recognized as one of the top online education destinations in the country by U.S. News and World Report, App State Online (formerly known as Distance Education) is designed to meet students wherever they are — whether they are seeking a degree, a credential or looking to sharpen their personal and/or professional skills. Through App State Online, Appalachian State University offers innovative, flexible and accredited undergraduate and graduate programs through three modes of teaching delivery: online, hybrid or classroom-based at off-campus centers. Learn more at

Dr. Virginia Kiefer Corrigan, program director of App State’s four-year online program in Veterinary Technology and member of the prestigious Homeward Bound leadership initiative for women with a background in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Medicine).
Published: Mar 8, 2022 9:20am