In honour of international women's day, we are sharing some stories of outstanding and brilliant women who are the backbone of the Benet's community. First up is Thais Rocha Da Silva, who is the first woman from St Benet's Hall to receive a DPhil!
"I feel deeply honoured to be amongst the first group of women at St Benet's Hall back in 2015. It was a huge change for college life and I am grateful to all benetians that welcomed us and helped us to feel at home. Because we were the first group of women there was a special connection between us and the same happened when the first group of female undergrads joined us in the following year. There was a collective effort and goodwill. We managed to get more things changed and establish Benets as a truly coeducational space.
It is still hard to believe that I am the first female DPhil at the college (possible) since the Benedictines settled in Oxford in the 13th century. It is amazing we are still making efforts to include women in so many spaces and our accomplishments still surprise our colleagues. We can’t take things for granted and because of that, I am deeply grateful to Werner Jearond and to all women from Benet’s staff that worked hard to make this possible. Being the first woman Dr from Benet’s certainly makes me proud but reminds me about other women who struggle elsewhere to have opportunities. My DPhil is also the result of a collective enterprise, of a vision and the hard work of people who gave me this opportunity. I hope Benets carries on promoting changes and making Oxford a truly inclusive and diverse place."