The topics that Ann is asked to speak about most often include leadership, teamwork, overcoming challenges, personal and group motivation and environmental issues following the Catlin Arctic surveys.
All of Ann’s talks are tailored to match the audience’s requirements. Here are just a few of the briefings Ann has received, and the content she has delivered.
Overcoming the odds at 40 below
A presentation on overcoming challenges in a difficult world for a leading international bank, beamed live to an audience of 1000 in 12 countries from the centre stage in London.
Ann talked to the international audience about actively embracing rather than rejecting challenges. Difficulties are inevitable in today’s corporate world but when dealt with in a positive way they can make life more interesting and personally rewarding.
On day 37 of her 75 day Guinness World Record expedition to the North Pole, Ann and her team had only completed 69 miles of their 500 mile journey across the most difficult terrain on Earth. Between them they were suffering from frostbite, wet gangrene, and a dislocated shoulder. Even though a vital member of the team had to be airlifted out, Ann and Caroline Hamilton went on to beat the odds and reach the North Pole. Ann is in no doubt that the journey was more remarkable and their sense of achievement far greater because of the way in which they successfully tackled the terrible conditions and a mountain of problems.
The true cost of leadership
An illustrated lecture to a team of new business managers at an internationally-renowned computer software company.
Ann spoke to the team about her experiences of leading senior executives on expeditions to the North Pole, and the challenge of persuading men and women to trust her judgement in extreme conditions. The Arctic Ocean is the most hostile environment in the world, where teamwork and consideration for your colleagues is paramount.
When temperatures are severe, the ice beneath your feet is constantly splitting, and your goal is literally moving away from you, Ann believes it’s crucial that people know exactly what is expected of them and go out of their way to help each other. In situations where the chance of success is minimal and only possible through extreme hardship and complete focus, each member of the team must have total faith in the leader, feel valued for their own contribution, and know they are as important to the success of the mission as the next person.
High positions in the workplace
A talk at an international conference on the challenges that women face when working in the top echelon of business.
As a woman in the male-dominated polar world, where physical strength and the ability to endure extreme hardships are seen as the primary attributes for success, Ann described to the audience what it took to fight her way to the top.
Ann enjoys working with men and women in the Arctic and does not see gender as a barrier to success. She doesn’t try to become a man to compete with a man: her belief that women have as much to offer as their male counterparts, allied with her determination to be true to herself, has seen Ann rise from obscurity to leading teams of both sexes in the polar regions. In 2009 she was chosen to be the head of ice operations and navigator for the Catlin Arctic Survey, an otherwise all-male scientific expedition.
Ann has achieved all her successes in the polar regions whilst bringing up four children. She has learnt that you do not need to compromise your work / life balance to be successful.
Facing the environmental challenge
A presentation to senior management at a European car manufacturer who have a mandate to produce an environmentally-responsible motor vehicle.
As a climate witness for the World Wide Fund for Nature, Ann spoke with passion and knowledge about the natural world, bringing the Arctic to life for her audience.
Ann has seen first-hand what is happening to ecosystems at the fragile tips of our planet as head of ice operations for the Catlin Arctic Survey. This pioneering scientific expedition measured the thickness of the sea ice surrounding the North Pole. The survey is working alongside leading scientists to calculate how long the icecap will remain, and what the consequences will be for the planet when it completely vanishes. There is no doubt in Ann’s mind that the disappearing ice on the Arctic Ocean will have a dramatic effect on climate patterns around the world, and she cares deeply about the future we are bequeathing our children.