An Extraordinary Story
From Refugee to Entrepreneur to Philanthropist
The moving memoir of a woman who founded a software company in 1962, when the concept of software barely existed. She employed freelance programmers to work from the comfort of her home on Concorde’s black box recorder. Business flourished, and Shirley gradually transferred ownership to her employees, making 70 millionaires in the process.
Let It Go details Shirley’s groundbreaking career as an entrepreneur, but also her incredible personal story – her dramatic arrival in England as an unaccompanied Kindertransport refugee during World War II and the tragic loss of her only child, who suffered severely from autism.
If the Book Is Not Enough
TED Talk with Dame Shirley
About the Author
Dame Stephanie Shirley is a successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist.
Having arrived in Britain as an unaccompanied child refugee in 1939, she started what became Xansa plc (now part of the Sopra Group) on her dining room table with £6 in 1962. In 25 years as its Chief Executive she developed it into a leading business technology group, pioneering new work practices and changing the position of professional women (especially in hi-tech) along the way. Her Dameship in the Millennium honours was for services to IT.
She was awarded the Order of Companions of Honour in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in June 2017.
In the realm of computing pioneers, Dame Stephanie “Steve” Shirley is one of the most celebrated, not only for building a $3 billion tech empire in 1960s England, but for doing it with an all-female, work-from-home staff of professionally qualified women who had left the work force after marrying and having children.
Where to Order the Book
The book is also available under the German title “Ein unmögliches Leben”.