Dame Stephanie Shirley gives talk on her pioneering work with computers

Dame Stephanie

30 November 2018

  • Dame Stephanie Shirley philanthropist and tech pioneer of the 60s
  • The story of a six-pound business now worth billions of pounds
  • A passion not for money but for equality for women

Social Entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist, Dame Stephanie Shirley is to present a talk on Wednesday 12 December at Aston University, about her pioneering IT business in the 1960’s, Freelance Programmers.

Her talk, The Story of an Early Pioneer in Computers, will focus on Dame Stephanie’s beginnings in the tech business, where she had the idea of offering part-time employment to professional women with dependants, developing a whole new business structure in the UK.

After beginning life as a WW2 child refugee, Dame Stephanie later became an entrepreneur, starting her billion-dollar IT business - which is now part of the Sopra Steria Group - with just six-pounds of capital.

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive Dean of School of Engineering and Applied Science, Professor Sarah Hainsworth, who will also host the Q&A said: 

“I am delighted that Dame Stephanie is speaking at Aston.  Engineering and Applied Science at Aston has many students studying computer science and I hope that they will be inspired by her story of how she developed a business that went on to develop the programming for the black box for Concorde amongst other achievements.  I very much look forward to hearing her talk.”      

In 2015, Dame Stephanie delivered a TED talk to more than a thousand of the world's most recognised technical entrepreneurs, thinkers, creators and doers resulting in a standing ovation and amassing over two-million views online.

Dame Stephanie will be selling signed copies of her book, ‘Let IT Go’ after her talk and a Q&A, with all proceeds going to Dame Stephanie’s charity Autistica, which is engaged in funding and campaigning for research on autism and related conditions.

To book visit the Eventbrite page


Notes to the editor

Photos (click links to download)

·         Aston University campus pictures

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students.  Professor Alec Cameron is the Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, call Rebecca Hume, Press & PR Officer, on 0121 204 5159 or email r.hume@aston.ac.uk. Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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