Famous Women In Engineering – Dame Caroline Haslett

Dame Caroline Harriet Haslett was born in Worth, West Sussex on August 17th 1895. In a time where the National Grid was but a thought, Haslett was a keen educator and a talented electrical Engineer whom was keen to extend equality and the knowledge about the power revolution to all.

Attracted to a career in business initially she began work as a Junior Clerk at Cochran Boiler Company in 1914. Quickly making her way up the corporate ladder, by 1918 she was managing the entire London Office. On her way up, she learned an incredible amount of information about Boilers and their operation, so much so that, at her request she was sent to Annan, Scotland to receive formal training in practical Engineering for Boiler Design.

Haslett’s magnetic personality and impressive management skills played a key role in her quick ascension through the business. In 1919 Haslett also became the first secretary of the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) and became president in 1941. In addition to this, her drive to educate others led her to the Chair of the “Council of Scientific Management in the Home” from which she was able to present papers and provide extremely popular lectures after persuading the Electrical Development Association.
During her lifetime Caroline was widely recognised for her work. In 1931 at the age of only 36 she was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to women. Many years later she was also awarded a DBE (Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire) giving her the title Dame Caroline Harriet Haslett.

The story of Haslett’s story is one that highlights the ability of everyone and anyone with an ability and drive to climb the corporate ladder and achieve great things through drive and determined work alone. Her contribution to the field will forever be remembered as playing a large part in changing the gender attitudes in Engineering (she was one of the first in her field) and also providing equality of knowledge and training in the field.

“Way is being made by electricity for a higher order of women – women set free from drudgery, who have time for reflection; for self-respect. We are coming to an Age when the spiritual and higher state of life will have freer development, and this is only possible when women are liberated from soul-destroying drudgery…”

Caroline Haslett

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