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Cambridge University's Trinity College elects first woman Master


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Dame Sally Davies has been elected the first woman Master of the University of Cambridge's Trinity College.

Not only has Dame Sally Davies proved successful in smashing the glass ceiling in serving as the country’s first female Chief Medical Officer, Davies is now set to be the first woman Master at Trinity College, Cambridge.

With this year marking 40 years since co-education at the college, her role signifies the progress that has been achieved in the fight for gender equality so far.

Dame Sally Davies

Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office  CC BY 2.0

Reacting to her appointment Professor Dame Sally Davies said: “It truly is a privilege and an honour to be appointed Master of Trinity, especially to be the first female Master. I am excited to get started and to continue building the prestigious legacy of this inspiring College.”

Dame Davies has an impressive track record in the work that she has led and developed, most notably her role in the NHS.

During her time working with the National Health Service, Dame Sally Davies worked for 30 years as a hematologist and later proved hugely instrumental in the establishing of Genomics England. This company is currently aiming to process 100,000 genomes (Cellular DNA) of those with cancer and rare diseases in the hopes of producing life changing treatments that could revolutionise the world of medicine by predicting and treating diseases earlier through their findings.

Trinity College is considered to be the wealthiest of all the colleges at Cambridge and was founded initially in 1546 by King Henry VIII.

Trinity College Great Court

Photo: Rafa Esteve / Trinity College Great Court / CC BY-SA 4.0

Looking through their list of notable alumni there are many male philosophers, scientists and even actors who immediately stand out, including Isaac Newton, A. A. Milne, Vladimir Nabokov and Eddie Redmayne, to name just a few.

But what is also apparent from this notable alumni list is the significant lack of women present, despite the fact the college has been admitting women for 40 years. There are some there, most notably Dame Sue Carr who is now a judge of the High Court of Justice, however, their names are dwarfed by the amount male counterparts.

Trinity College Cambridge

Photo: Cmglee / Whewell's Court, Trinity College / CC BY-SA 3.0

Dedicated to progress, from her role in the NHS throughout the last few decades to her ranking as the 6th most powerful woman in the U.K., Dame Sally Davies “will be of great benefit to the College” Professor Grae Worster, Vice Master of Trinity, said.

With this title, with the committees it leads and the decisions those with the title are in a position to make, Dame Davies will hopefully bring further inclusivity for this prestigious institution. In her appointmnet as 39th Master of Trinity College she is certainly set to do nothing less than great things.

Dame Sally Davies will offically begin her new role on 8 October 2019. 

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