I have to admit to not being a natural “College Woman”. In fact my first year or two at Hertford was spent dodging the college for the relative sanctuary of my department, being horrified with the dawning realization of what “tutorial responsibilities” actually meant, and finding the assortment of committees, characters and general modus operandi at best, bizarre, and at worst, unwelcoming and intimidating.
So how come, 14 years later, I am the proud Director of Studies of a fantastic bunch of biochemists, and just entering a second term of office as College Dean? The reason is simple: I’ve found collegiality, friendship and intellectual nourishment here. And moreover I’ve found that my own personal and professional journey and that of the college coincide. We are on a collective mission to inspire our young people, reach out to the widest constituency imaginable and instil higher education with the equality and sense of fairness it deserves. As a Fellowship we have never before been so closely aligned. I am very lucky to be a part of that.
And I am very lucky to be “sharing the Hall” with such a fascinating collection of inspiring women. People wonder where women disappear to in professional life. Well, they are here, all around us. Listen to what they say!