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Tagged with “stephanie shirley” (5)

  1. Moment #8: Dame Stephanie Shirley on ERNIE: the first lottery computer

    We’re back for moment 8! This week Sue is joined by philanthropist, champion of women and one of the most legendary women in tech, ever – Dame Stephanie (Steve) Shirley. Listen in as Sue finds out more about Steve’s fascinating work on ERNIE and her incredible story, overcoming stereotypes and many barriers to create a women-centred business on her dining room table that became an organisation worth $3bn.

    Quentin looks at how these special purpose computers have impacted our lives in so many ways including cyber security, while Kaal explains why these numbers aren’t truly random and what we can expect in the future as innovation continues.

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  2. Dame Stephanie Shirley

    Dame Stephanie Shirley arrived in Britain from Vienna as a five-year-old, without her parents. It was 1939, and she was one of 10,000 Jewish children brought by train on the Kindertransport to escape the Nazis. She went on to become one of the most successful businesswomen of the 20th century; in 1962, working from home, she founded one of the first tech-start-ups: an all-woman software company, Freelance Programmers, which was ultimately valued at almost $3 billion, making seventy of her staff millionaires.

    Since ‘retiring’, her work has been in philanthropy, with a particular focus on IT and autism – in memory of her son, who had autism, and who died at the age of only 35. She estimates that The Shirley Foundation has given away £67 million, not least for the establishment of three autism charities. She is the author of two books and is frequently asked to give motivational speeches about women in business and her own life story. She says, “I decided to make my life one worth saving”.

    In conversation with Michael Berkeley, Dame Stephanie Shirley looks back on an extraordinarily dramatic life. She describes the Kindertransport train, with children sleeping on the luggage racks, weeping for their lost families. She tells the story of her early days in business, and how she took on the name “Steve” to be taken more seriously. She also had a tape recording of frantic typing that she used to play during work phone calls, to disguise the fact that she was at home. And she talks movingly about her son’s death and how that changed the direction of her life. Her music choices include Bach, Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’, Dido’s Lament and the ‘Cat Duet’ attributed to Rossini.

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  3. How To Own The Room: 13.6 Dame Stephanie Shirley CH, Entrepreneur

    Are you sitting comfortably? Viv Groskop talks to Dame Stephanie "Steve" Shirley CH, the businesswoman, philanthropist and technology pioneer. They explore why she changed her name - and why she brought her kitchen stool to America to give her TED talk in front of Bill Gates. Dame Stephanie argues that women must learn to ask for money: our input won't be valued if we don't value ourselves. She reveals how she learned a "healthy selfishness" after ending up in hospital, and tells Viv the single secret of success in business and romance…

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  4. BBC Radio 4 - The Life Scientific, Stephanie Shirley on computer coding

    As a young woman, Stephanie Shirley worked at the Dollis Hill Research Station building computers from scratch: but she told young admirers that she worked for the Post Office, hoping they would think she sold stamps. In the early 60s she changed her name to Steve and started selling computer programmes to companies who had no idea what they were or what they could do, employing only mothers who worked from home writing code by hand with pen and pencil and then posted it to her. By the mid-80s her software company employed eight thousand people, still mainly women with children. She made an absolute fortune but these days Stephanie thinks less about making money and much more about how best to give it away.

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  5. BBC Radio 4 - Desert Island Discs, Dame Stephanie Shirley

    Entrepreneur Dame Stephanie Shirley joins Kirsty Young on Desert Island Discs.

    As a child, she escaped Nazi Germany on the Kindertransport - travelling across Europe for two days in a train with a thousand children and just two adults. She went on to set up a computer programming company which made her a millionaire many times over. But she has given away most of her fortune and now is an ambassador for philanthropy. Her determination throughout it all, she says, has been to prove that hers was a life worth saving.

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