I find it hard to believe that is was just 100 years ago that women were able to join my profession. (I have stolen the words of the senior vice-president of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.)
It marks the centenary of Royal Assent being given to the “Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919” that opened up the veterinary profession, as well as several others including law and accountancy, to women like me. Putting to one side, for a moment, the uncomfortable reality that we had to wait for men to “allow” us to join the profession, this decision was the catalyst for remarkable change. The Act enabled Aileen Cust, an extraordinary lady who had completed her veterinary degree in 1897 but had not been legally allowed to practise, to become the first woman on the RCVS register in 1922 and countless others have followed.