June 23, 2019

CTRL ALT DELETE Podcast: #205 Dame Stephanie Shirley

Dame Stephanie Shirley ​is tech pioneer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.

She also goes by the name “Steve” which she used to sign business letters to potential clients when they were not responding to her.​ If you haven’t already, go and watch her Ted Talk it is funny and moving and super interesting to hear what it was like being a woman in tech during the 60s.

In 1939 ​Steve arrived in ​B​ritain unaccompanied​, a​s child refugee during the war, and​ when she was 29​ she started what became her multimillion-pound IT software consultancy, from which she made a £150m fortune – on her dining room table with £6 in 1962​. ​

She retired in 1993 to concentrate on philanthropic work, since then she has given away at least £65 million via her charity Shirley Foundation. She continues to give to a range of causes including autism research, a cause she was drawn to through her late son Giles who had autism.​ Her Damehood in the Millennium honours was for services to IT.​

She was awarded the Order of Companions of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2017.

Aged 85 she remains married to her first husband Derek.

In this episode, we talk about her brilliant memoir Let It Go. In this episode we talk about workplace misogyny, making money, resilience, giving back, and why it’s importance to keep learning.

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