Pembroke Now!

This term’s PemWomen@30 events have been focused on Pembroke in the present day – how far we have come, and what there is left to do. Foremost among these was the ‘Pembroke Now!’ event, held over lunch in the Old Library.


The event brought together perspectives from Fellows, staff, undergraduate and graduate students on the topic of diversity in Pembroke today.

First, Admissions Tutor Dr Caroline Burt offered her views on the number of women applying to Pembroke, arguing that while the College has come a long way in terms of gender equality, there will always be more to do. Dr Burt was followed by Professor Tim Bussey, Director of Studies in Natural Sciences, who spoke more specifically about women in science, and the need to ensure that women are supported in their scientific careers so that they do not leave the field after undergraduate level.

We were then offered accounts from a student perspective. Will Popplewell, Junior Parlour President and Men’s Officer, spoke of the need to create a welcoming and inclusive environment in Pembroke. Meanwhile, Benita Turner-Bridger, Graduate Parlour Women’s Officer, pointed out that, whilst Pembroke is doing well in terms of gender equality, more could be done to promote inclusivity for other groups, for example international students.

Afterwards, the floor was opened up to questions: an opportunity for college members to express their own concerns and opinions about the position of women in Pembroke. A variety of topics were covered, from the role of female Pembroke graduates in the business world, to the need for college accommodation which caters to families – something which Senior Tutor, Dr Mark Wormald, was happy to announce is being increasingly provided.

In all, this was an enlightening and interesting discussion, which struck an excellent balance between celebrating how far Pembroke has come and reminding us all of the need to keep pushing for improvement.

Charlotte Ivers (2013)

Click below for a full audio recording of the event