Anne Gillespie Shaw
Who am I?
Anne Gillespie Shaw was a pioneer of Motion Study. Born in Uddingston, near Glasgow, Anne’s father died in the army in 1915 and her mother Helen became a Unionist MP for Bothwell in 1931. Educated at Laurel Bank School, Glasgow and St Leonards, in St Andrews, she graduated from the University of Edinburgh with an MA and a diploma in social studies in 1927. She then went to the USA to study and work with Dr Lillian Gilbreth the famous time and motion expert. She was a member of the Women’s Engineering Society from 1935 and its offshoot, the Electrical Association for Women, for which she made two films about domestic efficiency. She was awarded the CBE in 1954, for services to industry. She married John Pirie in 1937 and they had three children. © Nina Baker
I am monumental because...
Anne was a pioneering expert in Motion Study methods in the UK and became a respected consultant in production engineering despite never having trained as an engineer. In 1930 Shaw returned to the UK, where Metropolitan-Vickers Electrical Company in Manchester took her on as a personnel officer and from 1933 chief supervisor of women workers, and their chief motion-study investigator at the works from 1930-1945. During World War 2 she organised motion training study courses to improve aircraft production rates. She published books and papers on the theory and application of motion study. After the war she set up her own consultancy business, the Anne Shaw Organisation Ltd., which advised on, and made films about, production efficiency. As the leading UK proponent of Motion Study, Anne was recognised by her peers in numerous awards and ‘firsts’, including first woman elected member of the Institute of Production Engineers (1936); Honorary Fellow and Life Member of the Institution of Production Engineers (IProdE) (1976); Honorary Fellow of the Institute of Manufacturing Engineers (IMfgE) (1976). © Nina Baker