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PhD Completed

23 February 2016

We are thrilled to announce that RCVS Knowledge grant holder Julie Hipperson has successfully completed her PhD entitled ‘Veterinary training and veterinary work: a female perspective, 1919 – 2000’.

Julie was supported by a collaborative partnership between RCVS Knowledge, Kings College London and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).

During the course of her research Julie looked at women’s shifting expectations, experiences, professional networks and career trajectories, and examined how and why certain veterinary activities came to be regarded as suitable (or unsuitable) work for women.

Julie & AbigailJulie Hipperson says: “When I started my research in 2011, the issue of ‘feminisation’ of the veterinary profession was already high on the agenda, but apart from a handful of high-profile women, little was known about the overall experience of women in the profession.  It has been an absolute privilege to work with the wonderful material held at RCVS Knowledge and to engage with members of the current profession in order to reveal a clearer picture of women’s participation in the veterinary profession over the last hundred years.  From a personal point of view, the real value of this research is how it recovers and amplifies the voices and opinions of women who never achieved fame or fortune, and who have often been marginalised in the histories of veterinary medicine.  This long-view has not only contextualised current ‘feminisation’, but suggests that the discussion surrounding it would benefit from a more positive attitude towards increasing numbers of women. I hope the research will be of value to the profession. My thanks goes to RCVS Knowledge, and indeed the profession as a whole, for the generous support they have given me over the years.”

We are pleased to say that Julie has sailed through her viva with no corrections and received lots of praise from the examiners.

In the course of the past four years Julie has produced a rich social history of the profession, and has formed solid evidence to inform the debate surrounding the feminisation of veterinary practice. Discussions are now taking place as to how to put her findings into a useful and accessible format for the profession.

You can read Julie’s blog entitled Pioneers and Professional: Women in Veterinary Medicine

Photo above: from left to right, Professor Abigail Woods from Kings College London (Project Supervisor) and Julie Hipperson.

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