IRENE BARCLAY 1894 – 1989
Following the passing of the Sex Discrimination Act in 1919, Irene Barclay became the first woman to qualify as a surveyor.
She was employed by the Crown Estate to manage its working-class housing estate near Regent’s Park in London.
Irene had a socialist and pacifist background and devoted her life to trying to improve housing conditions.
Her surveys in the 1920s and 1930s of slum housing conditions in various parts of London raised the awareness of the more affluent to the harsh conditions experienced in some areas.
This resulted in the formation of several housing associations in which Irene played a part to try and improve housing conditions in Bethnal Green, the Isle of Dogs and Kensington.
Image credit: Gustave Doré, CC BY 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons