Professor Carlisle joined Old Girls, current sixth form students, parents, staff and Governors for a four course dinner before delivering her highly entertaining talk.
Inspiring her audience to follow their passions and embrace opportunity, she talked about life growing up in Ireland, her work as an artist which gave her the chance to travel the world and her subsequent move into university management – which she described as a “massive transition”.
“There still remains a glass ceiling for many women in my profession,” said Professor Carlisle. “Despite the fact that female academics are slightly in the majority in UK Universities, it is hard for them to achieve the rank of their male colleagues. Currently there are around 12,000 Professors in the UK, but less than a third are female with only 23 acting as Vice-Chancellors.”
With a call to “misbehave” and discover subjects which truly interested them in order to succeed, she had lots of advice for the Year 13 girls who will shortly be leaving the school.
The Amy Key lecture was first established by the Old Girls’ Association (OGA) four years ago and takes its name from the school’s first headmistress. It is intended to inspire the students who are leaving and welcome them into the OGA. Each of the leavers are presented with a badge by the speaker.
“Professor Carlisle was excellent,” said Sue Dowding, Chairman of the OGA. “Everyone enjoyed her talk and left feeling truly inspired. This may have been our best lecture yet.”
The event was kindly sponsored by local estate agency Lewis Haughton Wills. Special thanks also go to First Great Western, Mannings Restaurant Truro, Coodes Solicitors, Salt Kitchen Bar Truro, the Headland Hotel, the Old Quay Inn Devoran, the Bodmin and Wenford Railway, the Lost Gardens of Heligan, the Waymarker Restaurant Falmouth and the Hall for Cornwall for their kind support of this event.