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Inspirational people: Dame Stephanie Shirley, a tech entrepreneur worth knowing

Inspirational people: Dame Stephanie Shirley, a tech entrepreneur worth knowing

I have to admit, I had never heard of Dame Stephanie Shirley until very recently when her name popped up in one of my social timelines. It appears I’m not the only one, which seems utterly unbelievable once you hear her story. What if I was to tell you that in the early 1960s, to get past the gender issues of the time, she set up her own software house; one of the first start-ups of its kind in the UK. But what made this business even more unique was that it was a women-only business, set up for women. “Although women were then coming out of the universities with decent degrees, there was a glass ceiling to our progress. And…

How to lead from everywhere: Nurturing talent in a distributed team

Mail would collect twice daily and take to London, for computer input. When the business finally floated as a public company it was valued at £3bn and Steve and 19 original employees became instant millionaires. The intriguing fact about this story is that Steve was actually a woman, operating under a male pseudonym as her business was so ground-breaking for its time. The TED Talk by Dame Stephanie Shirley is well worth watching. There’s no doubt that distributed teams are becoming increasingly common, and for some businesses there is no ‘in office’ at all anymore. According to data by TechCast, 30% of workers across industrialised countries will be telecommuting by 2019. Research by Dell shows that 69% of UK employees believe…