In the 21st century the College has benefitted from women in leadership roles such as Vice Presidents, Deans of Faculty, Honorary Secretary and Honorary Librarian. This progress culminated in the election of the College’s first female President in 2017, Professor Jackie Taylor.
During Professor Taylor’s presidency, Inclusion became one of the College’s priorities. A new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy was introduced in 2019, and an Inclusion Advisory Group established to guide College Council.
At the same time, the Heritage and Inclusion programme was established to address historical inequalities and to reframe the College’s approach to heritage in the 2020s. Historical inequalities can become embedded in an organization, and we believe that by addressing them critically and creatively, we can help make the College more inclusive in future.
The Admitting Women exhibitions, both physical and digital, are examples of addressing historical inequalities creatively, bringing light to the historical figures who were lost in a telling of history dominated by misogyny and racism. It is hoped that the stories of these four incredible women will challenge our understanding of medical heritage and encourage other women in healthcare who continue to face barriers today.