Dame Stephanie Shirley is known for her pioneering work in tech and IT as well as her extensive charity work.
However, did you know that the business model she adopted to run her computer programming business enabled highly intelligent female computer programmers to work flexibly from home?
I am great believer that women must utilise digital technologies for their own and greater good. Especially, as our world is increasingly becoming digital first and digital skills is the new currency. Technology has enabled women to save time, plan and organise business, work and life; and COVID-19 proved that women (and men) can work remotely successfully.
Can you imagine Stevie (as Shirley was known – it was her business name go figure!) did that a time when women who got married had to give up their jobs. Not only did she go into business in the 1950/60s in a male dominated industry, but she also turned its working practices on its head. As she is said in her book ‘Let IT Go’:
“Not knowing what the rules were, I was free to innovate – as, indeed, was everyone else involved. Our long-term patterns of flexible home-working and remote management came about not just from theoretical idealism but also from practical necessity…It helped that there were so many high-powered programmers out there, who were available simply because conventional companies disliked employing women with dependents. It is also helped , I think, that they were women - who traditionally take responsibility for running family and home and, as a result, tend to develop finely honed self-management skills.” (Shirley p.101 2012).
So, whether you are tech girl, tech women or tech mum let’s harness the power of digital technologies so that we can live life on our terms. Happy International Women’s Day! #IWD2022
Want to know more?
Why not read the book ‘Let IT Go’ by Dame Stephanie Shirley here.
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