Meet the most successful tech entrepreneur you’ve never heard of.
In 1962, Dame Stephanie Shirley decided she was sick of hitting the glass ceiling for women in the tech industry. So she founded an all-female software startup called Freelance Programmers, and she hired women who had left the workplace after getting married or having children. To get business, she often signed her name “Steve” instead of “Stephanie” in letters. “In those days, I couldn’t open a bank account without my husband’s permission,” Dame Stephanie says. “My generation of women fought the battles for the right to work and the right for equal pay.”
Freelance Programmers was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making Dame Stephanie and 70 of her employees millionaires.