5.00pm : Jane Robinson

Friday 16th 5.00pm

Ladies Can’t Climb Ladders : It is a myth that the First World War liberated women.

Jane Robinson’s book marks the 100th anniversary of the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919 and celebrates the pioneering women who were first to break down barriers in a man’s world. The Act should have marked a social revolution, opening the doors of traditional professions to women who had worked hard during the War, but the reality was very different.

The experiences of these women raises questions about equal opportunities, the gender pay gap and the work/life balance that are just as relevant today.

Jane tells of an emerging class of working women who forged careers in the fields of medicine, law, academia, architecture, engineering and the church, examining their hopes and ambitions, while revealing how families and society responded. Their shared vision and spirited perseverance began a process we have yet to finish. 

‘A wonderful celebration of female pioneers’ Sunday Times

‘A crackingly good read’ Telegraph

‘A stirring testament to unsung heroes’ Observer

‘A lesson in how unthinkingly we wear our freedom’ The Times

Jane Robinson is an acclaimed author and public speaker who specialises in social history through women’s eyes.

​Her eleven books include Bluestockings: the Remarkable Story of the First Women to Fight for an Education, currently in development as a TV drama series; Hearts and Minds: The Untold Story of the Great Pilgrimage and How Women Won the Vote, out in paperback in January 2019, and Ladies Can’t Climb Ladders: the Pioneering Adventures of the First Professional Women.