By Kate Murphy
Behind the Wireless tells the tale of girls on the BBC within the Twenties and 30s. Broadcasting was once fresh in Britain and the BBC built with no some of the overt discriminatory practices typical on the time. ladies have been hired in any respect degrees, other than the very best, for example as secretaries, documentary makers, advertisements representatives, and librarians. 3 ladies held Director point posts, Hilda Matheson (Director of Talks), Mary Somerville (Director of college Broadcasting), and Isa Benzie (Foreign Director). girls additionally produced the programmes geared toward girl listeners and taken ladies broadcasters to the microphone. there has been an ethos of equality and the opportunity to upward push throughout the ranks from money owed clerk to accompanist. yet lurking in the back of the façade of modernity have been hidden inequalities in recruitment, pay, and advertising and in 1932 a wedding bar was once brought. Kate Murphy examines how and why the interwar BBC created new possibilities for ladies.
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Additional resources for Behind the Wireless: A History of Early Women at the BBC
Her name now added to the list of women staff permitted to use the lavatory on the 59 There are scant references to the social class of BBC women, but documents show the occupation of husbands/husbands-to-be included accountant, army subaltern, school teacher, osteopath and transport foreman, all skilled jobs. BBC/WAC:R49/372:Married Women Policy: Tribunals, Freeman also stated that the BBC’s clerical/secretarial women generally married ‘black-coated’ workers. BBC/WAC:R49/371/1:Married Women Policy:1, undated memo from Freeman c1937/38.
32 Reith’s quest for a large, permanent home for the BBC had begun in early 1927 although the chosen site at Portland Place, in the little developed area of the West End to the north of Oxford Street, would take five strenuous years to come to completion. Broadcasting House when it opened in April 1932 personified the growing self-assurance and authority of the Corporation. 36 However, it was confusing to navigate with nine floors of labyrinthine corridors arranged around a central column of studios.
158. See for example, Reith Diaries, 15 February 1923, ‘A succession of appointments all day … Saw Douglas Smith, Herd, Graham and McQueen’. 14. 44 Hendy has written about the effect of the war on BBC staff. David Hendy (2014) ‘The Great War and British broadcasting: emotional life in the creation of the BBC’, New Formations, 82, 82–99. 45 Annan wrote widely about this attitude. Noel Annan (1985) Our Age: The Generation that Made Post-War Britain (London: Harper Collins). 42 24 K. 46 It was not until the later 1920s that graduates predominated amongst the salaried staff.