Breaking Barriers: Inspiring Women on Board Titanic

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In celebration of International Women's Day we’ve been taking a look at some of the inspiring women on board Titanic.

International Women's Day is a poignant reminder of the incredible accomplishments of women throughout history. As we celebrate this day dedicated to honouring women's achievements, let's explore the untold stories of resilience and courage among the women who were onboard Titanic and broke barriers and challenged stereotypes. 

The 19th century reflects the societal norms and expectations that heavily influenced women's employment opportunities during that time. Despite facing formidable barriers and minimal legal protections, there were women who made indelible marks on history.

Elsie Bowerman

One such lady who undoubtedly had quite the impact was Elsie Edith Bowerman. Born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. She was a British lawyer, suffragette, political activist and survivor of RMS Titanic. 

Her journey as a suffragette began at Girton College, where she distributed Votes for Women and organised suffrage events. Elsie's dedication led her to campaign for Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) in the 1910 general election, addressing large crowds in Hastings. Remarkably, even on the day of the Titanic's departure, she attended an open-air meeting to campaign for WSPU.

After Titanic, she was among the early cohorts of women barristers when the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act of 1919 opened doors for women in the legal profession. Joining Middle Temple, one of the four Inns of Court in London, she was called to the bar in 1924, making history as the first woman barrister to present a case at the Old Bailey, The Central Criminal Court of England and Wales. Elsie's ground breaking achievements paved the way for future generations, inspiring them to continue the fight for equality and change.

Elsie Bowerman

Molly Brown

Molly Brown, whose full name was Margaret Brown, was born in 1867 and was an American socialite and philanthropist. She was a first class passenger on board Titanic and is best known for her survival of the Titanic disaster, sharing Lifeboat 6 with fellow survivor Elsie Bowerman.

She became a prominent figure in the early 20th century, known for her activism and dedication to various social causes including women's suffrage, labour rights and education.

A central focus of Molly Brown's activism was her role as a suffragette. Actively participating in the fight for women's right to vote, she joined suffrage rallies, protests and used her financial resources to support the cause. Molly's impactful speeches and efforts inspired others to join the movement, demanding equality and political representation for women.

Molly Brown


Born in Argentina, Violet served as a nurse and stewardess aboard three sister ships of the famed White Star Line: Olympic, Titanic and Britannic.

In an era where societal norms confined women to traditional roles, especially in the male-dominated maritime industry, Violet found herself among only 23 women in a crew of nearly 900 aboard RMS Titanic. Although her role was not part of the ship's operational crew, this was ground breaking at a time when women's opportunities were restricted.

She is remembered as "Miss Unsinkable" having survived not only the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912 but also that of her sister ship, the HMHS Britannic in 1916. This showcases her remarkable resilience and determination. 

Violet Jessop

Helen Churchill Candee

Helen Churchill Candee was an American author, journalist, interior decorator, feminist born in 1858. She was a multifaceted woman known for her accomplishments in various fields.

One of her notable contributions is the book "How Women May Earn a Living" published in 1900. This book is evidence of the ongoing struggle for women's economic rights and opportunities at the time. It reminds us of the early efforts made to break gender stereotypes and pave the way for women to participate actively in the workforce.

Beyond her literary achievements, Helen Churchill Candee is remembered for her survival and courage during the tragic sinking of RMS Titanic in 1912 on Lifeboat 6. 

An intimate connection to Helen's life can be experienced through the silver hip flask that once belonged to her. She carried this with her on board Titanic. Today, you can see this artefact up close in the Titanic Experience

Helen Churchill Candee

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