Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Your guide to London's culture and transport news and events taking place across the city.

Unchartered waters: the end of the typing pool, the desktop computer revolution and women’s office work in 1980s and 1990s Britain

This event has finished Took place on: Wednesday, 24th Jan 2024

 Free

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

This paper explores the cultural reactions to the abandonment of typing pools as it became the norm for employees to use personal desktop computers. The typing pool had been equal parts denigrated as a ‘dead end’ job for women whilst being recognised as an essential part of office landscapes worldwide. With technological change and accompanying workplace change that signalled the typing pool’s demise, however, social and cultural commentary revealed both an anxiety about women’s position in office spaces and an almost-nostalgia for the ‘old days’.

The paper examines these reactions in detail, using an array of personal testimonies, newspaper and magazine coverage and examples from popular culture. It builds on work by Allison Elias (2022) on women as secretaries, who argues that women’s white collar clerical work has hardly been examined for the post-Second World War period precisely because of its everydayness and ubiquity. The paper highlights the sense of social and cultural insecurity wrought by the changes to the typing pool and the extent to which the advent of the personal desktop computer was seen as a point from which there was no turning back. It also reveals the sense of unease about women’s position in office hierarchies more widely and the extent to which women’s employment was still contingent and precarious as the twentieth century came to a close.

Dr Helen Glew is Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Westminster. She researches the history of women’s employment in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and is especially interested in its intersections with the history of feminism. She is the author of Gender, Rhetoric and Regulation: women’s work in the Civil Service and the London County Council, 1900-55 (Manchester University Press, 2016) and is currently completing a book on the question of married women’s right to undertake paid work. Her research on the typing pool is part of the wider project ‘Global Workplaces in Transition: The History of Technology, Gender and Emotions Since the 1960s’ hosted at the University of Graz, Austria, in 2022-2024.


Contact and Booking Details

This event has finished Took place on: Wednesday, 24th Jan 2024

 Free

Booking details and information at this website.

Reserve tickets at this website

Disclaimer: All information given is correct at the time of compiling the listings. Any questions about the event should be directed to the event organiser. Photos and images used in this listing are supplied by the organiser.

2024-01-24 2024-01-24 Europe/London Unchartered waters: the end of the typing pool, the desktop computer revolution and women’s office work in 1980s and 1990s Britain Unchartered waters: the end of the typing pool, the desktop computer revolution and women’s office work in 1980s and 1990s Britain https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/calendar/2024/01/24/unchartered-waters-the-end-of-the-typing-pool-the-desktop-computer-revolution-and-womens-office-work-in-1980s-and-1990s-britain-364467 ,,,

This is an online video event, please check the organiser for details about how to watch.

What else is hapening in London on 24th Jan 2024

NEWSLETTER

Be the first to know what's on in London, and the latest news published on ianVisits.

You can unsubscribe at any time from my weekly emails.