BAC Wadsworth Prize

The BAC Wadsworth Prize is awarded annually by the Business Archives Council for a book judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the study of British business history.

The winner of the 2018 is Marie Hicks for her book, Programmed Inequality: How Britain Discarded Women Technologists and Lost Its Edge in Computing, published by The MIT Press. The prize was awarded at a reception held at the BT Tower, London in November 2018. This year’s judges were Hermione Giffard (winner in 2017); Alison Turton (Vice President of the BAC); and John Chambers, (CEO of the Archives & Records Association UK & Ireland). Programmed Inequality was praised as a strongly argued book that looked at how, after the war, the British computer industry failed to make use of a key asset - the highly skilled women of Bletchley Park. It was described as ‘an excellent historiographical lesson in how to fruitfully uncover apparently missing stories in history’.

Professor Hicks was unable to attend in person and so the prize was received on her behalf by Katie Stileman, Global Publicity Manager at MIT.  

Three other books were commended: Peter Scott, The Market Makers: Creating Mass Markets for Consumer Durables in Inter-war Britain; Regina LeeBlaszczyk, Fashionability: Abraham Moon and the Creation of British Cloth for the Global Market and Leslie Tomory, The History of the London Water Industry, 1580-1820.

Past prize winners.