Lizzie Broadbent

Business professional, amateur detective.

This project brings together my love of history and my passion for equality. I am tired of reading books, watching documentaries and seeing exhibitions where business women are notable only by their absence, especially when there are so many great stories to be told. Many of the issues that women were dealing with 100 years ago are still relevant today so if you are interested in organisational culture and workplace inclusion today, you can follow me on Linked In.

The focus here is primarily on women who were born in the reign of Queen Victoria and ran businesses or worked in commercial enterprises in Britain. The Victorian Age may have been glorious and prosperous for some but for women it was, in the words of Ethel Wood, ‘the dark night of their soul’. When Queen Victoria ascended the throne, women were domestic drudges at home, industrial drudges in the factories, had barely any legal rights and were excluded from most professions and all public offices. The women born during this period who had the guts, gall and gumption to carve a path through this harsh terrain deserve much greater recognition.

I spend many hours digging around in archives, physical and virtual, to write their stories and create original content for educational purposes. I often benefit from the work of those who have gone before me, leaving me threads to follow and stitch together, and other people’s research on specific individuals is credited within the relevant post. Wider-ranging research is listed under resources and regularly updated.

I have written articles based on my research for The Sunday Times, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Good Housekeeping, Perspective Magazine and The Wildean. I have contributed to the catalogue accompanying the National Portrait Gallery exhibition, Yevonde: Life and Colour and to its ongoing project, Reframing Narratives, with features on trailblazing Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs.

I give talks to organisations and schools about my research and its relevance today.

Please contact me if you are considering a feature or event where one of these stories or themes would strike a chord.

Just send me a message. I usually respond quite quickly.