A little light reading with Dame Stevie.
This is the first BBG book which I have been able to read before I go to sleep.
It is a very readable account of the life of Dame Stephanie Shirley – business and personal.
I was touched by her honesty – how well she knew and understood herself, warts and all.
I was full of admiration for the way she set up her company which had clear goals of enabling bright, intelligent women access to the workplace in a way that suited them. She really was ahead of her time.
I was saddened by the way success meant this shining star was taken over by capitalist greed and the company, to my mind, lost the heart she had given it – even though it made her extremely rich.
The heart break of discovering her only son was autistic is interspersed with the business worries in a very effective way. You can feel the tug to be with her son and to take his pain away; the stresses placed on her marriage are laid bare.
A very brave woman, some could say ‘a bloody difficult woman’ which is exactly why she succeeded in a man’s world.
To Dame Shirley the money was not her goal. Her philanthropy is also shared where lessons are relearned and often applied to the benefit of many.
I feel very happy to recommend this book as a light and very palatable read. It is a great reminder of how far we as a society have come in recognising and using the talents of women – and perhaps how far we still have to travel.
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