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Outlines the two year TQM programme implemented by Barnsley District General Hospital′s Catering Services department, which resulted in its being accredited to BS5750 Part 2 in October 1991.
Purpose – To discover and unravel the contribution of women to innovation and invention. This chapter builds upon a book published in 2003, called, Ingenious Women. The purpose of the book was to discover the invisible women inventors and patent holders operating between 1637, when the first patent was awarded to a woman, and the outbreak of war in 1914. For the purpose of this essay, the time frame has been extended to the present.
Methodology – Historical patents are used as the main research base, supported by searches of other relevant databases, directories and specialist archives (census records, registered designs, company records, museum collections) as well as specialist literature.
Findings – The research illustrates that women and men were often part of a wide network of discoverers and innovators and were able, by using the latest technologies and materials available, to resolve problems both large and small.
Research limitations/implications – This categorisation on patent databases or directories and searches were by female first names or by object type. his categorisation highlights the historical assumption that women are not inventors. Although this search method highlighted hundreds of women, there must be many still undiscovered.
Practical implications – Not all the ideas went into production and some have now become obsolete. Others continue to be produced and have formed the basis of successful companies. Many women became entrepreneurs and developed businesses based on their inventions and some, as widows, successfully ran their deceased husbands' companies.
Social implication – The women in this hidden history often had to navigate a path through social attitudes and legislative frameworks. They are all an example to women today that anyone, regardless of gender, can be innovative and entrepreneurial. What is crucial is that the ideas being developed are unique and have a purpose.