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THE WOMEN’S ENGINEERING SOCIETY

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Presentation on theme: "THE WOMEN’S ENGINEERING SOCIETY"— Presentation transcript:

1 THE WOMEN’S ENGINEERING SOCIETY
A Little Bit of History Dorothy Hatfield WES Conference 2005 7-Sep-05 WES History

2 7-Sep-05 WES History

3 In the Beginning Scene: The end of the war to end all wars
Very real issues concerning the continuing employment of women engineers who had made a huge contribution to the war effort. Opposition from government, industry, unions Cast: Some remarkable women: Lady Katherine Parsons - wife of Sir Charles Parsons and a keen amateur Rachel M Parsons - their daughter, a qualified engineer Margaret Lady Moir - Women Engineering Relief Workers Verena Holmes - propeller gluer became centre lathe turner Margaret Partridge - electrical engineer who owned and ran a power station Catalyst: National Union of Women Workers > National Council of Women Outcome: The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) 7-Sep-05 WES History

4 The Early Days The Aim: To promote the study and practice of engineering among women; and, secondly to enable technical women to meet and to facilitate the exchange of ideas respecting the interests, training and employment of technical women and the publication and communication of information on such subjects. Enter Caroline Haslett - “organising secretary” Early Activities Branches - 6 formed by 1920 Conference - first Annual Conference 1923 (Birmingham) The Woman Engineer - first issue December 1919 International - early contacts 7-Sep-05 WES History

5 20 Years of Peace Swing away from semi-skilled and skilled trades towards professional engineering. Discord between Lady Parsons and Caroline Haslett By 1922 most of the institutions admitted women Education and training progress slow formation of the Electrical association for Women to promote the use of electricity in the home International Conference London Depression of the early 30s brings major difficulties: high unemployment discourages female employment, particularly married women branches disappear Aviation becomes new opportunity area for women engineers Amy Johnson joins WES, President Aeronautical section of WES leads in 1957 to the British Women Pilots Association 7-Sep-05 WES History

6 War Again Women again needed in the workplace.
More recognition of their ability to make contributions at all levels. Caroline Haslett advisor to Ministry of Labour Membership soared to nearly 300 Branches revived 7-Sep-05 WES History

7 More Remarkable Women Dame Caroline Haslett Amy Johnson CBE
Marjorie Bell Isabel Hardwich 7-Sep-05 WES History

8 …and Peace Again 1946-1969 Marriage bar re-introduced
WES participates in the annual Engineering Exhibition at Olympia Expansion of International links ICWES (New York) ICWES Cambridge 1969 50th birthday! Women in Engineering Year First Verena Holmes Lecture 7-Sep-05 WES History

9 Lean Years and Resurgence 1970-1988
WES struggles to keep going financially First Company Members First Student Groups WISE Year Membership up to 800 Daphne Jackson Returners Fellowships - pilot scheme WES becomes a Charity 7-Sep-05 WES History

10 The 90s ICWES9 at Warwick University Branches in decline
Circles as alternative More Student Groups 7-Sep-05 WES History

11 Homes and Secretaries (not necessarily complete)
46 Dover Street 26 George Street Regent Street 25 Foubert’s Place Imperial College c/o SEMTA - Dartmouth Street, Old Queen Street c/o IEE Stevenage Caroline Haslett Thelma Davies Anneliese Souteriou Gwen Maxwell Catherine MacGillivray 7-Sep-05 WES History

12 Daughters of WES The Electrical Association for Women
The British Women Pilots’ Association The Daphne Jackson Trust …and now MentorSET 7-Sep-05 WES History

13 ….and More Remarkable Women
Cicely Thompson MBE Rose Winslade OBE - Asst Sec CEI Peggy Hodges OBE Gwen (Bunty) Howard Betty Laverick OBE - Asst Sec IEE May Maple Daphne Jackson OBE 7-Sep-05 WES History

14 A Changing World NOW THEN Discrimination subtle and covert
Women isolated in their workplace want networking opportunities Issues identified and well known if not always tackled Need to encourage women (and men) to take up and continue in engineering Some government support eg UKRC Volunteers have jobs and families to consider Electronic communications etc enable remote working THEN Very real and widespread barriers to the education and employment of women engineers Need to help women who already were or wanted to be engineers Issues not recognised by government and establishment bodies Body of well-off and influential women, often the wives of engineers, to lead the initiative London was the centre of communication 7-Sep-05 WES History

15 The Changing WES We should continually review our aims and strategies.
We should not be afraid to consider radical change. We should recognise that it may not be appropriate for WES to live for ever. 7-Sep-05 WES History


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