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 noticeable 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 has been described by Ethel Wood, one of the women featured here, as ‘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 more recognition.

Here I have tried to focus on untold stories or lesser-known facts about better-known women. I spend many hours digging around in archives, physical and virtual finding out more about them and creating 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 publications including The Sunday Times, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Good Housekeeping, Perspective Magazine and The Wildean and spoken about it to a number of different groups. I am open to commissions so do get in touch if there is a woman or theme here that has struck a chord.

To contact me, just send me a message. I usually respond quite quickly.