Born in 1860, Clara Elizabeth Collet was one of the first women to achieve a high position in government service. She began her career as an assistant mistress at Wyggeston Girls' School, Leicester (1878-1885). After studying for 3 years, she worked with Charles Booth, and subsequently (1892) became Assistant Commissioner to the Royal Commission on Labour, then Labour correspondent and Senior Investigator at the Board of Trade (1893-1903; 1903-17). She continued to work with the Ministry of Labour until her retirement (1920) and sat on trade boards for a further 11 years. She died in 1948.