Professor Lesley Regan – Remarkable Women Speech
For the first time since she left LEH in 1974 Professor Lesley Regan returned to school to give a Remarkable Women Lecture in aid of the Bursary Fund.
Speaking on the topic of Opportunities Don’t Make Appointments, when advising the girls in the audience on their future careers Professor Regan said to “never waste a good crisis”, meaning they should seize every opportunity they get to make the most of themselves and not be afraid to show their brilliance.
Professor Regan spoke honestly about her career, her early setbacks, her mentors and how she achieved eminent status in her chosen field. She said the lessons that she’d learned would apply to most careers in almost every domain.
She talked about the challenges of maintaining a successful career and those of motherhood and domestic life. She acknowledged that although it has not been easy, the rewards have been great.
The joy and sense of accomplishment she has through her work and research which has led to women who’ve suffered repeated miscarriages go onto have healthy children, and the pride she feels in her own twin daughters, were central to her theme.
Looking more broadly at gender equality around the world Professor Regan pointed out that there is still a long way to go.
Millennium Goals set in 2000 have not yet been reached. Where in the world people live reflects not only the age they’ll fall pregnant but also whether or not it is a positive choice. The chances of dying as a result of pregnancy are still as great as 1 in 8 in countries such as Chad, whilst it’s 1 in over 7,500 in the Western world and even as small as 1 in 17,000 in Sweden.
Her call was for this to change. Her challenge was to everyone in the room to be part of affecting that change and to make world governments and public health policy advisers realise that female lives matter and that women deserve equality no matter where in the world they live.
Link to UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030: