York’s Factory Women

York’s Factory Women

Our volunteer, Laura, has been researching the history of Rowntree’s female employees at the Haxby Road factory in the 20th century, exploring policies and attitudes towards social welfare. This has highlighted fascinating information about the women’s working lives and the issues they faced, some of which are still relevant today. This important research has enabled us to share these women’s experiences and make comparisons to modern day social issues.

We have created a Ten-Minute Talk – York’s Factory Women: Rowntree and the Scientific Management of a Workforce – in partnership with the British Association of Local History (BALH) in which Laura shares some of her findings.

Laura has also written a blog post – York’s Factory Women: The Perils of Pregnancy – to coincide with International Women’s Day on 8th March.

Factory workers sorting sweets

We were excited to host an online event on 8 March 2023 as part of York International Women’s Week. Jobs at Rowntree were attractive because of pay and conditions but what was it really like to be a woman working there in the first half of the twentieth century? The event featured Laura talking about her interest in Rowntree history and women and the outputs from her research. We were also joined by Dr Sally-Anne Shearn from the Borthwick Institute for Archives who spoke about Rowntree women’s records held there and shared  examples of documents and images from the archives.

You can watch the event here:

We have more events and digital campaigns planned around our research into Rowntree women and their working lives in 2023.

Support Us

Our work is enabled by grant funding from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. If you would like to make a financial donation to further support our work, it is easy to pay online (with or without Gift Aid) by clicking the link below. You can get in touch with us about other ways of giving via info@rowntreesociety.org.uk