Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Branch Meeting of the National Union of Women Workers

Wednesday 11th October: A well-attended meeting of the Bedfordshire branch of the National Union of Women Workers took place in Bedford under the chairmanship of the aptly named Mrs Trustram Eve. Members listened to an address by Miss Baverstock of the Central Bureau for the Employment of Women. Miss Baverstock’s central message was that women should look to employment beyond the war because they deserved to earn a wage. She spoke of the tremendous developments in women’s work because of the war. There were openings for women in chemistry and the best way of training to become a chemist was to take a degree or become an Associate of the Institute of Chemists. There was also a demand for women in the optical trade, where the training is inexpensive and the wages after 2 years are £2 per week. There was also a great need for women dentists, who were better suited to attending to women and children – a dentist could expect to earn as much as £4 or £5 per week. Gardening & forestry, the motoring industry, welfare work in factories were also areas that women could work in. Miss Baverstock was not so sure about clerical work, as many wounded soldiers were engaged in this work and only those equipped in languages and shorthand would get on. She deprecated women working at lower wages than men, a sentiment met with hearty applause.

Source: Bedfordshire Standard 13/10/1916

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