Professional Women: the public, the private, and the political

LSE Library, the home of the Women’s Library
on 6-7 September 2019

2019 marks the centenary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act in Britain, which opened all ‘civil
professions or vocations’, including the civil service and legal profession, to women. It was a
significant landmark – but neither a beginning or an end – to the history of professional women.
This conference will explore not only the significance of the 1919 Act, but also the ‘professional
woman’ in all periods, nations and forms. She is found far beyond ‘the professions’, in fields ranging
from agriculture to industry, from education to the arts. She has worked with or without official
sanction and recognition, in widely varying conditions, for typically unequal wages. She has created
her own professional niches, from domestic trades to feminist organisations – or forced her way into
traditionally male domains. Her professional life has been influenced by sex and gender, but also by
class, ethnicity and race, sexuality, disability, age, nationality and family situation.
We look forward to welcoming established scholars, postgraduate researchers, independent
scholars, museum curators, local history groups and practitioners from a wide range of disciplines
researching professional women in Britain and elsewhere in the world, to this conference to be
hosted at LSE Library, the home of the Women’s Library

2019 Conference flier – Save the date