In 2019 St John’s is marking 40 years since the first women were admitted to the College.

40 years of women jpegFollowing over 400 years of single-sex education, the College started admitting women in 1979, alongside many other Oxford colleges that took the step of amending their Statutes and welcoming women at around the same time.

During this academic year the focus will be on equality and diversity in the College – both in terms of what has already been achieved, and what we can still aspire to. Our gender balance amongst both academic staff and students is now roughly equal, but we know that there is always more we can do to encourage greater equality and diversity within the College.

We’ve planned a full programme of events across the year, focusing on a wide variety of different themes. We’ll be looking into the history of women at St John’s, investigating the position of women in science, and looking ahead to see what the next forty years holds for feminism at Oxford. We’ll hear speakers discuss issues of diversity in international development, and our President, Maggie Snowling, will chair a discussion on disability and education.

Alongside talks, workshops and discussions, we’ll also have a wide variety of other events, including gaudies, concerts, dinners, and much more. Keep an eye on our events page and our social media channels to find out more about our plans for the coming year.

We’re really looking forward to seeing lots of our students, alumni and friends at events this year as we mark this special anniversary in the College’s history.

International Women's Day 2019


" Since 1555, St John’s has striven to provide excellence in education and research. In this 40th anniversary of admitting women, let us take the opportunity of stepping back and reflecting on how we can ensure that a commitment to equality and diversity is at the core of our mission. " Professor Maggie Snowling, President of St John's College
" I am very proud to have this important anniversary fall during my term of office as Fellow for Women. When I was born many of the Oxford colleges did not admit women, which makes this relatively new (in the context of over 400 years of men) initiative something which is particularly exciting and which I hope will endure for another 400 years and beyond. " Professor Katherine Southwood, Fellow for Women
" Equality and inclusion are not just aspirations, they are a responsibility for all of us. As Fellow for Equality, I welcome the '40 years of women' programme of events as a reminder of what has been achieved and, more crucially, as a way for us all to discuss what lies ahead. " Professor Ian Klinke, Fellow for Equality

Women's Network

Find out more about the St John's Women's Network

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