Anne Gillespie Shaw

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Anne Gillespie Shaw

Anne Gillespie Shaw (1904-1982) was a Scottish engineer and businesswoman. Shaw specialised in time and motion study. She began her own consulting company, the Anne Shaw Organisation Ltd., in 1945.

Life and career[edit]

Shaw was born in Uddingston, Scotland, in 1904. She attended St Leonard's School in St Andrews and Laurel Bank School in Glasgow.[1] She went on to study at the University of Edinburgh before studying for her postgraduate certificate at Bryn Mawr College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.[2]

Shaw met Dr Lillian Gilbreth at Bryn Mawr College and became Gilbreth's research assistant.[3] Shaw then began working at Gilbreth, Inc. until 1930 when she returned to the UK.

She became a personal officer at Metropolitan-Vickers before becoming chief supervisor of women workers in 1933 and was the company's chief motion-study investigator between 1930 and 1945. She was also a consultant to the Associated Electrical Industries group of which Metropolitan-Vickers is part of.

Shaw joined the Women's Engineering Society in 1935, and during the thirteenth annual conference of the Women's Engineering Society, Shaw gave a presentation on her study of motion at the Science Museum in Kensington, London.[4] In late 1936, Shaw helped produce a film which demonstrated the application of motion study concerning food preparation in the home.[1] On 31 May 1937, she was selected by the National Institute of Industrial Psychology to lecture on modern developments in the study of time and motion.[5] Later in 1937, Shaw served as an opponent of a motion put "That the Introduction of Female Apprentices to these works is to be deplored". As a result of her opposing voice and the speech of Dorothy Garafitt, a recently accepted apprentice, the motion lost by a margin of 17 votes.[6] Shaw married John H. Pirie the following year.[7]

Shaw was recruited by the Minister of Aircraft Production, Stafford Cripps, in 1942 and during World War II, she worked on the Production Efficiency Board as an advisor to the aircraft industry.[1]

In 1945, Shaw started the Anne Shaw Organisation Ltd. Of which she was the chairman and managing director until 1975. Between 1964 and 1979, she was also the director of Wescot Ltd.[1]

She published Purpose and Practice of Motion Study in 1952 and Introduction to the theory and application of work study in 1994.[8]

In 2017, Shaw was inducted into the Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame.[9]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Scottish Engineering Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 21 October 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  2. ^ Streat, Sir Raymond (1987). Lancashire and Whitehall: The Diary of Sir Raymond Streat. Manchester University Press. p. 315. ISBN 9780719023910.
  3. ^ "Post Magazine". Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Post Magazine". Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Post Magazine". Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  6. ^ "Post Magazine". Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Post Magazine". Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  8. ^ Chicken, John C. (2013). Hazard Control Policy in Britain. Elsevier. p. 47. ISBN 9781483146508.
  9. ^ "Clyde Space engineer inducted into engineering hall of fame". Retrieved 28 February 2018.