Inspired by our Neighbourhood -- Millicent Fawcett

19 July 2019

Inspired by our Neighbourhood -- Millicent Fawcett
We recently moved into new offices in Gower Street, in London’s Bloomsbury “Knowledge Quarter”. As well as being home to many of London University’s constituent colleges, including world-class and renowned institutions like UCL, Birkbeck College, SOAS and the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, we’ve also noticed how many Blue Plaques are all around us.

Blue plaques are a London institution. They celebrate great figures of the past and the buildings that they inhabited.  The Blue Plaques scheme has been run by English Heritage since 1986 and there are over 760 in London. You can find all the blue plaques and information about them here: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/visit/blue-plaques/#?pageBP=1&sizeBP=12&borBP=0&keyBP=gower%20street&catBP=0

In this second blog about our illustrious forebears, we take a look at MILLICENT GARRETT FAWCETT – writer, political activist, and a pioneer of the women’s suffrage movement.

Millicent Fawcett was president of the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies between 1907 to 1919. Less well known, at least to us, is her other work, ranging from investigating conditions in concentration camps in South Africa to her fight against child abuse, which resulted in significant positive change within society.  Her work also paved the way for women to migrate more fully into the public sphere of life. Her activism was instrumental in helping women gain the right to vote, which occurred for some women in 1918 when the Representation of the People Act 1918 was passed in Parliament.

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We’re all inspired by Millicent Fawcett’s commitment to positive societal change. Whilst we can’t lay claim to directly impacting civil society, our AI guided solution for analysing and coding unstructured text is helping institutions respond more directly to feedback from, and concerns of their customers, stakeholders and wider audiences. This can help increase engagement within areas like healthcare, utilities and transport.

Last year, a statue of Millicent Fawcett was unveiled opposite of Parliament. Her tireless work and spirit are an inspiration and working near where she spent 45 years fighting for change feels like a great honour! Visit Gower Street to see her plaque and be sure to head to Parliament Square to see her statue.

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