Female business pioneer to launch equality centre

Another week, another coup. Pioneering businesswoman and philanthropist Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley will deliver a free public talk at the University of Lincoln, UK, offering a fascinating insight into her life and career and open an equality centre.

Starting life as an unaccompanied Austrian child refugee in 1939; someone who benefited from the Kindertransport which saved 10,000 children, she went on to build a ground-breaking all-woman software company, which was valued at $3 billion and made millionaires of 70 of her team members.

Her ground-breaking employee initiatives are to be admired as she battled against discrimination. She founded a software company in 1962 from her dining room table with just £6 and soon after adopted the name ‘Steve’ to aid her in the business world. She employed only women until the 1975 Sex Discrimination Act made it illegal to do so. She offered part-time and flexible employment to professional women with dependants, pioneered new work practices, and changed the position of professional women (especially in the hi-tech industry) along the way.

Her talk, entitled A Woman’s Story, will take place on Tuesday 21st March in the Stephen Langton Building on the University of Lincoln’s Brayford Pool Campus, starting at 6.15 pm, with an exhibition beforehand. All are welcome.

As a taster, here’s a ‘Why do ambitious women have flat heads?’ It’s both moving and inspiring because it’s about someone who has made a success of their lives, against all the odds.

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