Happy new year! As we ease back into work, I have been busy on two tasks: first, preparing for a new session teaching Diversity and Inclusion (this time for a very strong group of postgraduates). Second, I’ve been working on final preparations for my DECRA workshop on women and Australian business history (to be held at UTS on the 9th February). The event will involve a range of scholars interested in the history of women and business in Australia.
We have four very well-aligned sessions. First is on professions, where Hannah Forsyth will share her work on women in the professions in Australia since the 1970s; Lauren Samuelsson the construction of food expertise amongst Australian Women’s Weekly food editors; and Kate Fitch on women in the Public Relations profession.
Next is a session on employment. Melanie Oppenheimer will share her work on women volunteers and the implications of the history of volunteering for understanding gendered labour. Emma Robertson, Diane Kirkby and Lee-Ann Monk will compare women as employers and employees in private bus companies in the interwar period, and Matthew Bailey will look at women in post-War retail employment.
In the session on entrepreneurship, Louise Prowse will discuss the history of ‘side hustles’ in Australia; Karen Handley and Sue Wright the importance of, and barriers to, mentorship of women small business owners; and Catherine Bishop on women small business owners in Alice Springs.
In the final session on agriculture, Julie McIntyre will examine women in the Australian wine industry, Alison Sheridan and Lucie Newsome women and farm succession; and Jennifer Jones, Emma Robertson and Bernard Keo early women in Australian agribusiness.
This event is the first time folks working on women and business history have been brought together in Australia. It is great to be able to build capacity in this area and fill a major gap in our understanding of the way enterprise has developed. Papers will draw links between those working on Australian women’s history, women in business and management, and Australian business history. We will all be considering the intersectionality of our papers, discussing the connections between gender, corporate capitalism, and race, sexuality, (dis)ability, age, class and so on.