CFP: The History of Women in Engineering in the UK

November 27, 2017, IET Savory Place, London

Call for papers

Established in 1919 in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) provided a focal point for demands by women for a role and voice in the engineering industry as well as its societies and institutions.  However, the foundation of WES does not mark the origins of women in engineering in Britain but rather forms part of a longer history stretching back to the nineteenth century and possibly beyond.

They are especially interested in exploring a longer history of women in engineering (loosely defined) and in recovering, highlighting, and better understanding the diverse roles of women in British engineering in nineteenth and twentieth centuries.  They are also interested to explore how a significant number of women came to participate in British engineering (loosely defined) including as facilitators of women’s work in engineering, most pre-eminently Caroline Haslett, and how they faced the challenges of crossing gender boundaries, sometimes with the support of professional engineering bodies such as the IEE (Institution of Electrical Engineers, now the IET).  We would especially like to hear papers on women that have not featured in any previous scholarly study and the factors the brought their careers into this hitherto exclusively masculine profession, for example: women whose careers in engineering began with the new industries of aeronautics and automobile engineering as well increased opportunities for women in engineering, technical, scientific and mathematical roles during the First World War.

Co-organized by Anne Locker at IET archives and Elizabeth Bruton at the Science Museum, the History of Women in Engineering one-day conference will take place at the IET Savoy Place in central London on Monday 27 November 2017.  The Women’s Engineering Society (WES) are pleased to support the conference in advance of their Centenary celebrations in 2019.

The conference will be of interest to historians and academics, professional engineers, museum curators, archivists, and others involved in and interested in the gender history, women’s history, and the history of science, technology, engineering, and medicine (STEM) as well as those who teach and lecture in these areas.  They invite proposals for twenty-minute papers, or panels of three papers, on the subject of the history of women in engineering.

Proposals of no more than 200 words, together with the name and institutional affiliation (if any) of the speaker, should be sent to Elizabeth Bruton at  Proposals for panels should include a separate proposal for each paper.  We hope to produce a special issue of a journal from a selection of the conference papers so request potential speakers to indicate whether they would like to be considered for this potential publication.  The closing date for submissions is Friday 6 October.

Conference Fee: The conference fee will approximately £25 and covers conference attendance, lunch, and refreshments.

For all enquiries about the conference, please contact Elizabeth Bruton at

See for an online copy of the CFP.

Deadline: October 6, 2017

Posted: September 28, 2017