7 Susannah Charlton discusses feeling liberated by being in an all-women environment


The meetings that I remember were held in the Freemasons’ Arms, ironically, opposite the Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden in a room upstairs. And I remember being a little bit nervous going along the first time to a meeting that was all women – whether it would feel comfortable – and instantly feeling at home.. And feeling how liberating it was to be in an environment that women weren’t interrupted by men, that they could speak, have their voice heard. I’d not before been in a work context which was women only.

I think the overall impression I had from going to meetings was it was really inspirational to hear some of the quite big names talking about what they’d done and what they’d achieved in their careers, but also really interesting to hear people who were just more senior in publishing talking about how they’d developed their career, and learning more about the publishing business.

I think, so this is at a time when I’m starting to read feminist literature, becoming aware of campaigns against violence against women – I suspect I went to the WiP meetings at around the same time. So it was really part of becoming aware of feminism and feeling this was almost like a kind of practical feminism that felt relevant to me, something that I could learn from and also maybe get involved in and do something for, that was perhaps a bit less scary than the more radical side of things.

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