Who was the first British woman actuary?

DOROTHY DAVIES 1897 – 1977

Dorothy Davies was educated at Cambridge University and gained a degree in mathematics in 1918.

She went to work for The Guardian Insurance Company and studied for her actuarial exams in the evenings. Her hard work paid off when, in 1923, Dorothy became the first woman to qualify as an actuary.

A friend she’d known since adolescence wanted her to marry him but she declined as the insurance company didn’t employ married women and she would have had to give up her job.

In 1931 Dorothy was passed over for a more senior position in the company despite her formidable reputation amongst her colleagues.

She married Henry Spiers, the long-term friend and had two children, leaving the insurance company in the process. When her children were older she returned to work, the rules having been changed in relation to the marital status of female employees.

Photo credit: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons