- Last Updated on Thursday, 21 March 2013 09:15
Congratulations to BFWG Members named in the New Year Honours:
Florence Kirkby MBE , former BFWG President, and former Chair of the Secondary Heads Association
Prof Muriel Robinson OBE, President of Lincoln and District Local Association of BFWG and Vice Chancellor of Bishop Grosseteste University of Lincoln
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 13 November 2012 08:19
Beryl Roper: A SHORT HISTORY: ‘Making it in a Man’s World’
Beryl was a Chester City Scholar at Royal Holloway College, University of London. She graduated in 1951 with a B Sc degree that included Pure and Applied Mathematics and Physics. She then joined the Admiralty as a junior scientist and was employed on analysing submarine activities during the 1939-45 war in what was then called operational research/operational analysis. In 1965 the three services teams were merged and from then on she worked for all three services including a spell in Northern Ireland in 1973, earning two promotions along the way.
In 1973 she was posted to do Personnel Management of Scientific Staff in the Ministry of Defence on the basis that it took scientists to cope with scientists! She was the first woman to do this job. In 1978 on moving to the Civil Service Commission, as one of two Science Recruitment Managers that worked across Government Ministries, she was the first woman to obtain one of these posts.
She says ‘I did not have to fight to progress as I never felt any discrimination once women gained equal pay in 1956. All that was ever asked was ‘Can she do it?’
Her Involvement with the Federation:
While all of this was happening Beryl was also becoming involved with what was then BFUW (British Federation of Women Graduates). Her mother was teaching in Buckinghamshire and came home one day to inform her that she had an invitation to a meeting of women graduates .Her mother was not a graduate so had volunteered Beryl to go instead. She went along and the rest is history! That evening was the start of what became the Chiltern Association and, as she was often in London, she was asked to join the Executive Committee as the LA representative. After a move in 1973 she joined West Surrey LA and was elected the Regional Representative.
She was elected Vice President of BFUW in 1976. In 1977 the IFUW Conference was held in Stirling. She also attended IFUW Meetings in Germany in1968, Japan in 1974 and many IFUW Conferences since, welcoming the opportunities to travel.
After the end of her term in 1979 BFWG she chaired a Regional Committee to run the 1980 AGM at Royal Holloway College, of which she is an alumna.
She became a Governor of Crosby Hall and was also making the first attempt to computerise BFUW records. Beryl was elected BFWG President in 1990, just in time to meet the great crisis over the future of Crosby Hall. This matter took much time and effort. Fortunately the team had wonderful backing from the great majority of members although they faced vociferous and potentially dangerous opposition from a small minority. Fortunately no damage was done to the compensation received although it came very close to doing so.
From 1993-1996 she represented BFWG on the Women’s National Commission, the usual thing for Immediate Past Presidents to do at that time.
In 1997 she moved to Somerset since which time she has served as a Parish Councillor, as a Trustee for the local Village Hall and on a consultation group that’ tries to stop the NHS local authorities from doing too many silly things’.
She received her Honorary Membership of BFWG in 2012.