Who is Olive B Schill?
While many will have heard of Edward Melland Schill, his name and legacy preserved by the famous University of Manchester lecture series, his sister, Miss Olive B Schill, whose bequest to the university funds the University’s Melland Schill Lecture Series to this day, is often overlooked.
Olive dedicated herself to a whole host of social work around Manchester, including affiliations with the Manchester Branch of the National Council of Women, an organisation founded as a response to unsatisfactory working conditions faced by many women in the late 19th century. By the time Olive worked as honorary secretary for the Council, it had turned its attention more broadly to equal treatment of women in the workplace generally and the gender pay gap. Also worthy of mention is her work with the Gentlewomen’s Employment Society, founded in Manchester, which amongst other things provided support and encouragement for women to embark on further education.
It is to her we dedicate this initiative.