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Women Power in the Bank: How Women Took on More Responsibilities During World War II and Broke Barriers in Banking

BySamantha Jones

Mar 28, 2024
Women and their Role in the Bank of England during World War II

During World War II, women clerks in the Bank were given more responsibilities, including an increase in basic clerical tasks and a reduction in roles focused on sorting and counting notes. From 1939 to 1944, there was a 15 percent decrease in employees involved in sorting and counting notes and a ten percent increase in clerical roles. This expansion of work for women in the Bank was due to the fact that men who married were allowed to remain on the permanent staff only at the discretion of the Governors.

The marriage bar policy was enforced by the Bank during this time as well, which required women to leave upon marriage and receive a lump sum as essentially a dowry. This policy remained in place until 1958 when it was finally lifted following post-war labor shortages. However, during World War II, some women were able to remain on the permanent staff if they married, although this was only temporary at the discretion of the Governors.

It wasn’t until 1894 when Janet Hogarth made history as the first woman to work at the Bank where she supervised a small team of women who sorted used banknotes. The number of women clerks increased significantly during both world wars, with 1,309 women appointed by 1919 and another increase during World War II as men were sent away for military duties. However, these women were paid less than their male counterparts and had a separate pay structure that remained in place until 1958.

By Samantha Jones

As a content writer at newsnnk.com, I weave words into captivating stories that inform and engage our readers. With a passion for storytelling and an eye for detail, I strive to deliver high-quality and engaging content that resonates with our audience. From breaking news to thought-provoking features, I am dedicated to providing informative and compelling articles that keep our readers informed and entertained. Join me on this journey as we explore the world through the power of words.

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