Monday 25 April 2022

Women working at Lloyd's Register in history

The justifications for women being excluded from seafaring in the past are understandable, though not solutions-oriented.

 But why exclude women from the safe premises of shipping businesses on land, for example Lloyd's Register (pictured), which began as a maritime classification society in 1760?

Anyway, a Lloyd's Register blog now reveals that women were indeed in this centre of maritime life and at its outposts. 

See Mina Ghosh's Women at Lloyd's RegisterSeptember 12, 2019. Yes, it was was written a while back but it's  interesting, and it may not have reached many readers.

It reveals some elements that are are akin to the history of women at sea: like "she shouldn't have been there, but ... she was, and she did well."

For example Ann Johns was the first unofficial female surveyor, in October 1860. She took over when her husband was poorly - and did  a good job at Bangor. The first female surveyor to be properly employed was Sonia Stavroula Anastassaki in 1979. Li-Rong Zhou (pictured) qualified as a surveyor in 2001.

"The first women employed at the Society were the housekeeper’s daughters, the Misses Ginn, who worked as cleaners. It would be another three quarters of a century before another woman was employed at the Society’s head office. Clara Kitchen joined in 1912 as a cleaner. She retired after 49 years of service.

"Though there was a reluctance to employ women at the head office in a role other than as a cleaner, the Society’s out ports were more forward thinking and began employing women in clerical roles from 1907."

In 1947 the first lady mathematicians came along. And Elspeth Parkes became the first public relations officer, after 1956. (Pictured.)

Do read on, and check out the telling pictures at Women at Lloyd's Register

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