2019 was the centenary of the Women’s Engineering Society. WES was founded just after the achievement of partial female suffrage in 1918, with the intention of supporting women into employment and education in the varied fields of engineering. WES has had many notable members, yet the only member who features widely in the popular historical narrative is pilot Amy Johnson.

We aim to redress this with our interactive online WES Centenary Trail Map recording and sharing the history of WES with a wider public, building an audience for our history through new and improved Wikipedia entries, based on research into a century of the The Woman Engineer Journal (digitised and cared for by the IET Archives alongside WES’ wider archives) alongside other historical collections and publications. The Wikipedia and Wikidata pages are generated by volunteers, trained and engaged through Wikithons around the country and entries are pulled through to populate the map. The project has shared these new and improved histories through local events, displays, social media and a small PR programme.

Some notable WES members or women mentioned in The Woman Engineer journal with Wikipedia pages who will ultimately feature on the WES Centenary Map are listed below. Lots more to come…

In alphabetical order

Annette AshberryHertha AyrtonEthel H Bailey;

Lady Mary BaileyMarjorie Bell: Lilian Baylis

Cleone Benest (aka C. Griff)Lilian Bland;

Florence BlenkironJean Lennox BirdFrances Bradfield

Mrs. Victor BruceHenrietta BussellKaren Burt

Joe CarstairsThelma Cazalet-KeirLetitia Chitty

Lettice CurtisPilar CareagaElsie DavisonOlive Dennis

Jeanie DicksVictoria DrummondElsie EavesGertrude Entwisle

Mary FergussonElla Hudson GaskingPauline Gower

Lillian GilbraithAnne Gillespie ShawIsabel Hardwich

Caroline HaslettBeatrice HicksPeggy Hodges

Verena HolmesJoan HughesDaphne Jackson

Amy JohnsonElizabeth KennedyAyyalasomayajula Lalitha

Elizabeth LaverickKathleen LonsdaleHilda Lyon

Florence Violet McKenzieMonica MauriceMaxine “Blossom” Miles

Margaret, Lady MoirMadeleine NobbsHelena Normanton

Sicele O’BrienLucy OldfieldSir Charles Parsons

Claudia ParsonsLady Katharine ParsonsRachel Parsons

Margaret PartridgeGabrielle PattersonBeryl Platt

Dorothée PullingerIra Rischowski

Margaret RowbothamEleanor Shelley Rolls 

Beatrice ShillingDorothy SpicerWinifred Spooner

Marguerite StockerEdith StoneyFlorence Stoney

Emma StradaBlanche ThornycroftTheresa Wallach

Laura Annie WillsonRose Winslade

Listen to engineering historian Nina Baker talking about some historical women in engineering – a real treat! Listen here

Some other WES women who have online present but no Wikipedia page … (yet!)

Mrs. Pender Chalmers

Joy/Jonathan Ferguson

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

In support of WES’s Centenary the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography have added new biographies recording the lives of five of the early generation of women engineers: Eily Marguerite Leifchild KearyFrances Beatrice BradfieldHilda Margaret Lyon and Beatrice Shilling and Blanche Thornycroft.

The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography is the national record of people who have shaped British history and culture, worldwide, from the Romans to the 21st century and holds over 60,000 biographies. Some biographies are locked but you can log in to read them with your local library card.

This follows on from a previous release of biographies about women connected to WES and engineering in July 2018.

Electrifying Women Volunteering Pack from our sister project @ElectrifyingWmn

The Electrifying Women project have created a set of resources to support your own research in this area and to continue our work by running your own sessions about the history of Women in Engineering. The resources cover 

  • Running your own events
  • Writing blog posts
  • Primary research

Download the resources and other information here.