Let It Go
Dame Stephanie Shirley
A moving memoir from a woman who made a fortune in a man’s world and then gave it all away…soon to be turned into a film
In 1962, Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley created a software company when the concept of software barely existed. Freelance Programmers employed women to work on complex projects such as Concorde’s black box recorder from the comfort of their own home.
Shirley empowered a generation of women in technology, giving them unheard of freedom to choose their own hours and manage their own workloads. The business thrived and Shirley gradually transferred ownership to her staff, creating 70 millionaires in the process.
Let It Go explores Shirley’s trail blazing career as an entrepreneur but it also charts her incredible personal story – her dramatic arrival in England as an unaccompanied Kindertransport refugee during World War Two and the tragic loss of her only child who suffered severely from Autism.
Today, Dame Stephanie Shirley is one of Britain’s leading philanthropists, devoting most of her time, energy and wealth to charities that are close to her heart. In Let It Go, Shirley tells her inspirational story and explains why giving her wealth away – letting it go – has brought her infinitely more happiness and fulfilment than acquiring it in the first place.
Co-written with Richard Askwith, the former Executive Editor of The Independent and the award-winning author of seven books in his own name, including biographies of Emil Zatopek and Lata Brandisova.
‘An extraordinary tale of creativity and resilience’ – Guardian
‘This engrossing story of an extraordinary life is filled with lessons in what it means to be human’ – Financial Times
Steve Shirley's autobiography is nothing short of inspiring. She is a role model for young women worldwide in her spirit, determinism, humour, and generosity -- Simon Baron-Cohen * Professor at Cambridge University * An inspiring memoir by a great entrepreneur who charted her life to do well while doing good -- Ronald Cohen * Chair of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment * There is an entire business course in this book: about the dangers of profitless growth, the difficulties of succession planning, and the problems of managing clever people. But more important, this engrossing story of an extraordinary life is filled with lessons in what it means to be human -- Michael Skapinker * Financial Times * The word 'inspiring' is greatly overused, but Stephanie Shirley's story is one of those rare cases in which it truly applies. This book is an extraordinary tale of creativity and resilience, and of the power of well-targeted philanthropy to transform the world -- Oliver Burkeman * Guardian *
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