Manchester, 1908. Attractive, intelligent Mary Maitland is furious to learn that her pompous boss will never promote her, simply because she is a woman. Despite financial support from her family, Mary is determined to strike out on her own and earn a living. She finds work at a women's employment agency, where her talent for writing is noticed and she begins publishing articles for newspapers and magazines. But in the face of strong opinions from her well-to-do family on the role of a woman, is it possible to be a dutiful daughter at the same time as spreading her wings?