Pioneering senior civil servant
Hilda Martindale (1875-1952)
In 1933, Hilda Martindale joined the Treasury and became one of the first women to reach the higher levels of the Civil Service, paving the way for future generations of women. She also argued strongly for equal pay and for women to be given the right to choose whether or not to leave their occupation when they got married.
She achieved this by firstly gaining an education at Royal Holloway College then going on to obtain a certificate in hygiene from Bedford College in 1898. At this time, social work courses didn’t exist so she followed her own training programme.
Before joining the Treasury, Martindale became one of Britain’s first women factory inspectors and, in 1903, wrote an influential report on lead poisoning in brickworks. This was followed by an investigation into women outworkers in Ireland.
By 1914 she was a Senior Lady Inspector and played an important role in dealing with the difficulties involved in the substitution of women for men in industry. When she retired in 1937, she wrote several books.