"I've been smashing glass ceilings for years": Introducing Dame Steve Shirley

Dame Steve Shirley, talking, with the Virgin logo on a wall behind her
Image from Virgin.com
Selfie of Eleanor Ross
by Eleanor Ross
10 April 2019
Dame Steve Shirley

Dame Stephanie ‘Steve’ Shirley is sitting in front of the Virgin sign sipping a glass of water. At 85, her mind is extraordinarily sharp. She is witty, warm and has both wonderful anecdotes and conversation.

There are few in the world quite like Dame Steve Shirley, who has smashed through glass ceilings, forged a space for women to work unhindered in the workplace and run a billion pound business.

She is now a philanthropist and committed autism activist, and she visited Virgin to share her words of wisdom on being an entrepreneur and all round good-egg.

After arriving in the UK on Kindertransport in 1939, she vowed to live life to the full.

And she’s certainly achieved that. In 1962 she set up her own business which did so well she has been able to spend her ‘retirement’ giving back to society, making better use of IT in the voluntary sector.

Now, the seasoned businesswoman is making waves again. Her book Let it Go has just been re-published by Penguin, and a film about her life is currently being cast.

Find out more about Dame Steve Shirley here.