Women at 40


On October 23, the College will continue to celebrate 40 years of women’s membership of Trinity College by marking the 40th anniversary of women’s admission as postgraduate students in 1976.

Join us for a special reception in the Wren Library, followed by lunch and a panel discussion about women’s experiences in forging academic and non-academic careers over the last forty years and their prospects for the future.

All are welcome, and we particularly hope that alumnae of that pioneering first intake will be able to join us.

Tickets cost £25 for alumni, £7.50 for current students and £30 for guests. Please click here to book your ticket(s).


Ann completed her PhD in modern history at Trinity in 1980. She then worked in research and teaching roles before joining BP in their political and external affairs team. Her career with BP included policy, business, and strategy roles culminating as Vice President, Organisational Capability. She then moved to HSBC where she led the Learning and Development Team for the bank.

Jane Hamblen was the Chief Legal Counsel for the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, a public pension fund with more than US$ 100 billion under management, from 2005 to 2015. From 1994-2005, Ms. Hamblen served as the Assistant Attorney General for Investments and Employee Benefits in Wisconsin.

Su-Mei Thompson is CEO of The Women’s Foundation, a NGO dedicated to the advancement of women and girls in Hong Kong through research, community programmes, and education and advocacy. TWF’s signature programmes include a Financial Literacy and Employability Programme for marginalised communities of women and its Life Skills and Gender Awareness Programmes for under-privileged adolescent girls and boys. Meanwhile, TWF’s highly acclaimed Mentoring Programme for Women Leaders, inspirational speaker events and scholarships are helping to build the pipeline of female talent for senior executive and non-executive roles. In 2013, Su-Mei founded the 30% Club HK, a group of chairmen and CEO leaders who are committed to bringing more women onto corporate boards. Su-Mei was also an Associate Producer for “She Objects” a new documentary by The Women’s Foundation which is being screened at a number of international film festivals this year.

Lynne Pepall (1976) is Professor of Economics at Tufts University in Medford Massachusetts. Professor Pepall received her undergraduate degree in mathematics and economics from Trinity College, University of Toronto, and her PhD. in economics from the University of Cambridge in England.

Sarah Worthington QC (hon) FBA is a Fellow of Trinity, a barrister, and the current Downing Professor of the Laws of England (as the next but one successor to Gareth Jones). With Prof Graham Virgo, she co-directs the Cambridge Private Law Centre.

Val Gibson is the Head of the High Energy Physics Research Group in the Cavendish. She holds a Special Honours BSc in Physics from the University of Sheffield (1983) and a DPhil in Experimental Particle Physics (1986), The Queen’s College, Oxford. She was a Fellow in the Experimental Physics Division at CERN (1987-89) and came to Cambridge in 1989 as an SERC Advanced Fellow, held concurrently with the Stokes Senior Research Fellowship at Pembroke College (1989-1994). She was appointed as University Lecturer and Fellow of Trinity College in 1994, Reader in 2006, held a Royal Society Leverhulme Trust Senior Fellowship (2007-08) and became a Professor in 2009.

Dr Sarah Teichmann (1993) is interested in global principles of regulation of gene expression and protein complexes, specifically in the context of immunity. Sarah did her PhD at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, UK and was a Beit Memorial Fellow at University College London.


12:30 am

Arrival and pre-lunch drinks reception in the Wren Library

1:00 pm

Two course lunch in the Old Kitchens

2:30 pm

Panel discussion in the OCR

3:30 pm

Tea and coffee

4:00 pm



The Wren Library was completed in 1695 under the Mastership of Isaac Barrow, who persuaded his friend Sir Christopher Wren to design it. The building work was carried out under the supervision of a local master mason, Robert Grumbold, who chose exterior stone with a pinkish tinge from a quarry in Rutland; the stone catches the evening sun quite beautifully.

The Library has exquisite classical proportions and maximises space and light having bookcases below window level. The first floor is decorated with limewood carving by Grinling Gibbons and furnished with a series of Roubiliac marble busts of College alumni, including naturalist John Ray and his friend Francis Willoughby, Richard Bentley, Francis Bacon and Sir Isaac Newton. At the far end of the library is a statue by Thorvaldsen of Lord Byron. This was originally intended for Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey, but was refused; Trinity was glad to accept it.

Manuscripts and printed books are kept in the Wren Library and there is also a modern library and reading room, which are not open to visitors. Some of the College’s most notable manuscripts are displayed in the Wren Library, including an eighth century copy of the Epistles of St Paul, John Milton’s shorter poems in his own handwriting and the original manuscript of Winnie-the-Pooh.

There is a virtual tour of the Wren Library Available Online