Educational Source Packs

The project has created a series of source packs to help researching and teaching on the history of women in engineering, which are available here for educators, researchers and students to use.


These three source papers include primary source materials from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) archives alongside questions to consider for these sources. They are primarily aimed at students (A-Level and above) and can be downloaded for use in various kinds of teaching.


Lady Katharine Parsons’s speech to the Victory Meeting, Newcastle Upon Tyne, 9th July 1919

This is a re-enactment of the speech given by Lady Parsons, produced by History’s Maid for the Electrifying Women project.

Lady Parsons gave this speech shortly after she and others had launched the Women’s Engineering Society on June 23rd 1919.

Can we interpret it as a part of a recruiting drive to increase the membership of WES?

A full transcript of the speech is available here.

SHE: theatre production at the University of Leeds, November 2019

A play about the lives of women in engineering, commissioned by the Electrifying Women project and devised by University of Leeds students. These education packs for KS3 and KS4 students were created by Yasmin Rapley.

Electrifying Women: 5 Key Themes

Five videos and downloadable information sheets on five of the key themes from the Electrifying Women project: Collaboration; Resourcefulness; Innovation; Activism; Networking.

A further selection of videos are available here.


The Woman Engineer

The Women’s Engineering Society journal published since 1919, held by the IET archives

Alice Gordon Decorative Electricity (1891)

A guide to decorating the Victorian home with electric lighting. Alice Gordon was the wife of a Victorian engineer and the final chapter of the book details her experiences of this and her involvement in her husband’s work.

An extract from Claudia Parson’s autobiography detailing her experiences as of the first female students studying engineering at Loughborough College in the early 20th Century. Read more about Claudia Parsons – engineer, writer and traveller – on her wikipedia page.

Women’s engineering work during World War One

O. E. Monkhouse ‘The Employment of Women in Munition Factories’, Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers,  1918 (94) 213-238

Olive Eleanor Monkhouse was a senior officer in the Ministry of Munitions Labour Department. She was awarded an MBE in the 1918 honours list and was the first woman ever to present a paper at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London.

Ben H. Morgan, ‘The Efficient Utilization of Labour in Engineering Factories (With Special Reference to Women’s Work.) Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1918 (94) 239-324

Ben Morgan was a specialist in industrial training for the Ministry of Munitions – both his paper and Monkhouse’s are discussed together at the end of this paper.

Barbara Drake, Women in the engineering trades; a problem, a solution, and some criticisms; being a report based on an enquiry by a Joint Committee of the Fabian Research Department and the Fabian Women’s Group (Labour Research Department, Allen and Unwin, 1918)