5 March 2024

Exciting New Research Project!

We’re delighted to be hosting a PhD researcher focusing on Flora Solomon, Head of Employee Welfare at M&S from 1932.

PhD researcher Nick Bailey has begun a research project focusing on Flora Solomon, Head of Employee Welfare at M&S from 1932 onwards. Flora established M&S’s innovative staff welfare programme from scratch, from subsidised health care and pensions to social clubs and holidays.

What impact did this have on M&S’s mainly female workforce? And how did it influence M&S’s business performance? Nick will be conducting in-depth research within our archive papers, staff manuals and company reports to find out.

A black and white photo of a group of people all looking at the camera. They are standing in front of a shop counter.

The project covers topics such as gender, employee welfare and British Social History during the interwar period; areas that we know are of interest to visitors in our exhibition and to learners of all ages through our Learning Programme and Reading Room services.

Nick is undertaking a PhD at the University of Leeds and working with him is a fantastic opportunity for the Archive team to benefit from his research expertise and his knowledge of the wider business landscape of the interwar period.

This is a Researcher Employability Project funded by the White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities.

The project runs until the end of March and Nick’s work will help M&S to gain new insight into its long-standing commitment to caring for colleagues. His research will also be shared with the wider public through a new online exhibition which will be hosted here on the M&S Archive website, so watch this space!