Dame Stephanie Shirley: Why do ambitious women have flat heads?

I came across this TED Talk today delivered by Dame Stephanie Shirley that really resonated with me — and, subsequently introduced me to a new-found hero.

I don’t allow myself the “luxury” of taking 15 minutes to watch a TED Talk very much these days with so many things to tick off my “to do” list, clients to contact and email support to manage but this one caught my eye and with a headline like “Dame Stephanie Shirley: Why do ambitious women have flat heads” — my curiosity was piqued, then the description (shared below) sucked me in and I just had to push “play”.

“Dame Stephanie Shirley is the most successful tech entrepreneur you never heard of. In the 1960s, she founded a pioneering all-woman software company in the UK, which was ultimately valued at $3 billion, making millionaires of 70 of her team members. In this frank and often hilarious talk, she explains why she went by “Steve,” how she upended the expectations of the time, and shares some sure-fire ways to identify ambitious women…”

You’ll have to watch the video above to find out what those ways are… I hope you find it as worthy an investment of your time as I did!


“It’s one thing to have an idea for an enterprise but, as many people in this room will know, making it happen is a very difficult thing. And, it demands, really, extraordinary energy, self belief, and determination, the courage to risk family and home and a 24/7 commitment that borders on the obsessive.”

— Dame Stephanie Shirley (aka Steve)

Here’s to all of the flat-headed, big-footed women!

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Dame Stephanie Shirley: Why do ambitious women have flat heads?

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