A lot can happen in a century!
Aldeburgh became the first town in the UK to appoint a female mayor.
Emily Dawson was successful in becoming the first woman magistrate in the UK.
The UK got its first female police constable.
World War I - The Great War became the catalyst for the cultural and social movement that helped women become more integrated into vital roles, more previously attributed to men. Rising production needs demanded women step into key mechanical, administrative and militant roles; in addition to filling the voids left by vacated males in retail, clerical and financial roles due to conscription.
The Representation of the People Act 1918 (Fourth Reform Act) was passed. Women over 30 years old received the vote but only if they were a member of the Local Government Register (or indeed married to someone who was), a property owner, or a rare University graduate voting in the same constituency from where they graduated.
The Sex Disqualification Act of 1919 was passed. This extremely broad and empowering act allowed women to become lawyers, vets and civil servants. It decreed: “A person shall not be disqualified by sex or marriage from the exercise of any public function, or from being appointed to or holding any civil or judicial office or post, or from entering or assuming or carrying on any civil profession or vocation, or for admission to any incorporated society (whether incorporated by Royal Charter or otherwise).”
Later that same year, the UK saw the election of its first female MP.
The Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 was passed. The 1928 Act expanded on the 1918 act by granting women electoral equality with men, meaning all women over 21 years of age, regardless of property ownership, were given the right to vote.
Margaret Bondfield was selected as the first female cabinet minister in UK history.
World War II - Alike the first World War, many jobs previously dominated by men were filled by women, due to the conscription of men into the war effort. Such roles that women assumed and completed diligently were:
Furthermore, huge numbers of women joined the military outright:
Rose Heilbron became the first female judge in British history. She would follow this piece of history up with another one in 1972, when she became the first female judge at the Old Bailey.
Hilda Harding achieved huge success when she was appointed the first woman bank manager in UK history.
The 1970 Equal Pay Act was passed in the UK. This act decreed that there be no discrimination in pay for the same work no matter of the employee’s gender. Interestingly, the act was proposed and eventually passed into law to bring the UK into alignment with the stipulations of the Treaty of Rome, as part of the UK’s desired entry into the European Community. In essence, Europe brought women’s equal pay rights into law.
British women were allowed to join the stock exchange for the first time.
The Sex Discrimination Act of 1975 was passed into law. Per this act, it became illegal to discriminate against both men and women, in employment, education and training. The act would go on to be amended in 2008 to cover transsexual people.
Mary Langdon made history by becoming the first female firefighter in the UK.
Margaret Thatcher began her much discussed and heavily debated, record-setting reign as the Prime Minister of Britain.
Helen Sharman shot for the sky when she became the first ever British woman to go out into space.
Pauline Clare achieved the rank of chief constable in the British Police forces.