On a warm afternoon on 31 May 2023, we welcomed back Old Members Wendy Burt (History, 1979) and Alison Sanders (PPE, 1979), who were among the first women to be admitted to the College. Representing the Queen’s Women’s Network (QWN), Alison and Wendy shared stories of their time at Queen’s in the later 1970s, when women had just begun to claim space at Oxford – space that was denied to them for far too long.

In an intimate gathering of MCR as well as JCR students, Alison and Wendy’s narrations wove a tapestry of resilience, humour, and profound insight. The enriching discussion that followed saw lively debates on inclusion, feminism, and challenges women continue to face at Oxford University, as well as interest in how QWN could collaborate more with the MCR and the JCR. Apart from events such as this one, the Women’s Officers of the MCR and JCR are also working closely with the QWN to encourage meaningful connections where current Queen’s members can benefit from career guidance, advice, and more from the alumni.

The QWN is also keen for students and scholars to join the Network’s LinkedIn group to increase interaction and collaborative opportunities.

This event was yet another reminder of the transformative power of education, the importance of women supporting women, and building a sense of community.

Geetika Mantri (Master of Public Policy, 2022), MCR Women’s Officer