Trying to get equal opportunities
Women in the higher grades of the LCC and the Civil Service in the first half of the twentieth century
in Gender, rhetoric and regulation
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Building on chapter one, this chapter examines the similarly gendered nature of women’s work on the higher (executive and administrative) grades in both organisations. It looks at the various types of rhetoric used to preserve women’s subordinate position and the campaigns by women public servants and their supporters (both inside and outside their institutions) to improve women’s opportunities. It provides an account of the debates around segregated versus aggregated grading structures and demonstrates the strength of many campaigners’ arguments that aggregation was the best means to try to bring about long-term equity between men’s and women’s opportunities. The chapter also provides, as far as records allow, a quantitative assessment of women’s likelihood, compared to men’s, of being appointed to a particular grade via the examination process.

Gender, rhetoric and regulation

Women’s work in the Civil Service and the London County Council, 1900–55

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