Dame Stephanie Shirley

In 1962, Dame Stephanie founded the software company, F.I. Group and was concerned with creating work opportunities for women with dependents - she employed only women until that practice was made illegal in 1975. She adopted the name "Steve" to help her in the male-dominated business world. She officially retired at the age of 60 in 1993 and has taken up philanthropy since then. Dame Stephanie was awarded an OBE in 1980 and promoted to DBE in 2000. Through the Shirley foundation, she has donated much of her wealth to causes such as the Worshipful Company of Information Technoligists and the Autism Research Centre. From May 2009 until May 2010, she served as the UK's Ambassador for Philanthropy.

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