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Limitless | July 15, 12:00–12:55 p.m.

 

At ThoughtWorks, we advocate passionately for positive social impact and greater equality in our industry and wider society. As such, we believe it’s important to find space for women leaders to share common concerns, experiences and learnings. We launched Limitless specifically for this purpose.

 

As we reflect on the initiative, we are delighted to see the Limitless community continue to grow and are proud to facilitate valuable exchanges alongside hugely inspirational, trailblazing women speakers from a wide range of backgrounds. Our next event will take place 12:00–12:55 p.m. on Thursday 15th July.

 

 

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Online Event | July 15

We are thrilled to welcome Dame Stephanie Shirley CH as the keynote speaker for our upcoming event. One of Britain’s most celebrated IT pioneers, entrepreneurs and philanthropists, she built a $3 billion tech empire in the 1960s staffed solely with work-from-home professionally qualified women. A pioneer championing the idea of women returning to work after a career break, flexible working, job and profit sharing and company co-ownership, Dame Stephanie is a huge inspiration for all women leaders.

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Keynote speaker: Dame Stephanie Shirley CH

 

Dame Stephanie Shirley CH - otherwise known as ‘Steve’, is a workplace revolutionary and successful IT entrepreneur turned ardent philanthropist. www.steveshirley.com.

 

Her life story begins with her 1939 arrival in Britain as an unaccompanied Kindertransport refugee. In 1962, she started a software house, Freelance Programmers, that pioneered new work practices and changed the position of professional women, especially in hi-tech. She went on to create a global business and a personal fortune shared with her colleagues, making 70 of her staff millionaires at no cost to anyone, but herself.

 

Since retiring, her focus has increasingly been in philanthropy - in 2009/2010 she served as the UK’s first national Ambassador for Philanthropy and her charitable Shirley Foundation has initiated and funded a number of projects totalling £67m to date, with a focus on IT and her late son’s disorder of autism. 

 

Her memoir Let It Go (2012) has sold 27,000 copies and has recently been re-published with a view to distributing it worldwide – the first translated version was launched in Germany last November. She is also currently working to make a multi-part series with a streaming service. She released a second book in November 2020, So To Speak, a collection of 29 of her speeches given over the last 40 years, with all proceeds going to Autistica.  

 

She has been named one of the 100 most powerful women in Britain and one of the Top 100 practising scientists in the UK. She has won the Women of the Year Special Award and her 2015 TED Talk received a standing ovation from over a thousand of the world’s most recognised technical entrepreneurs, thinkers and creators and has been viewed over 2.6m times. In 2017, she received a Companion of Honour, one of only 65 people worldwide to receive such recognition. 

 

Discover Limitless - Highlights & Interviews

Latest Interview: Caroline Casey

Caroline is an award-winning social entrepreneur and founder of The Valuable 500, a campaign to get 500 global businesses to commit to put disability inclusion on their leadership agendas. In an incredibly inspirational interview she shares the story of her extraordinary life and stresses the importance of including disability in the broader diversity agenda to create a more inclusive world for the 1.3 billion people in the world with a disability.

Kate Richardson-Walsh

The most capped British hockey player in history, captain of GB’s hockey teams for 13 years, MBE and BBC Sports Personality of the Year nominee, Kate Richardson-Walsh shares with us important lessons on creating a collective culture of success and sense of common purpose from her impressive career in sport. She also discusses diversity, inclusion and the importance of using our platforms to drive positive social change.

Inga Beale

A trailblazing business leader and former CEO of Lloyd’s of London, Inga Beale was the first woman to be promoted to this position in over three centuries of the company’s history. Having revolutionised the global insurance market, in 2017 she was awarded a DBE for her services to the British economy. In an insightful conversation, Inga shares learnings and experiences from her incredibly successful career.

Farrah Storr

Our first Limitless event of 2020 was hosted by Farrah Storr, award-winning editor-in-chief of Elle UK, former editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan & Women's Health, author of The Discomfort Zone and one of the capital’s most powerful change makers. Farrah shared experiences from her career in publishing and her views on the role of the media in today's society.

Jan Royall

Principal of Somerville College Oxford, Baroness Royall is a distinguished politician, Leader of the House of Lords, a member of the cabinet under the last Labour government and Leader of the Opposition for 5 years thereafter. We had the privilege of getting Jan’s views on politics and the role of women, mentoring, tech, legislation and much more. 

Sue Black

Award-winning computer scientist, Dr. Sue Black was awarded an OBE in 2016 for her services to technology. A digital skills expert, technology evangelist, government advisor, social entrepreneur and former London mayoral candidate for the Women’s Equality Party, Sue discusses the role of women in technology, mentoring, impostor syndrome and much more.

India Gary-Martin

25 year veteran of financial services and former Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer for Investment Banking Technology and Operations at JP Morgan, India Gary-Martin hosted a powerful keynote session at our very first Limitless event. ThoughtWorks UK Managing Director Ruth Harrison sat down with India to discuss equality, leadership, accelerating your vision and much more.

Sally Penni Part 1

An award-winning practicing barrister and experienced non-executive director of various boards, Sally Penni MBE is also the founder of Women in the Law UK, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a companion of the Chartered Management Institute. On the first half of a thought-provoking discussion, Sally shares her views on diversity and inclusion in the law profession.

Sally Penni Part 2

A practicing Common Law Barrister specialising in Public Law with an emphasis on vulnerability and Employment Law, as well as data protection breaches and GDPR, Sally Penni MBE discusses the opportunities and challenges of technology in law - how the law can stay on top of technological advances and how technology can revolutionise the law profession.

Miya Knights

Miya Knights has 20 years' experience as a journalist, author, editor and research director specialising in enterprise technology use in retail. Consistently ranked as one of the top retail industry influencers, Miya shared her views on the state of the industry, the role of tech and how it's changed consumer expectations and customer experience, and her views on Amazon - which she has written a bestselling book on.

Christine de Largy Part 1

A qualified Executive Coach, Christine started her career at John Lewis and progressed through a range of organisations at board level including divisions of Kingfisher, Sears and Arcadia. Most recently as Chair, UK Board Practice at Harvey Nash, one of the best global executive search organisations. In the first half of an insightful conversation, she shares experiences and learnings from her hugely successful career.

Christine de Largy Part 2

Having led research into how leadership and boards are changing in partnership with London Business School’s Leadership Institute, Christine is now undertaking a PhD in the psychology and practices that help build inclusive organisations. During this interview, she discusses the FTSE 100 and FTSE 250, women representation in leadership (or lack thereof), her views on the board of the future, hierarchy and organisational structure.

Sabrina Del Prete

With 25+ years’ experience in the financial services industry, Sabrina has held senior roles at JP Morgan Chase, Barclays, Coutts and RBS. She is now the founder and CEO of Kore Labs, which supports FS organisations through digital transformation. In this candid, inspiring interview, Sabrina shared stories about her career in finance, being a woman and a working parent in the industry and establishing her own fintech company. 

Faye Roth Part 1

A hugely experienced CIO/Chief Transformation Officer, Faye has worked for some of the world’s most reputable management consultancies and held permanent tech leadership positions for global businesses such as Centrica, M&S, Tesco, ITV and most recently River Island. Faye kindly shared her views on how to achieve a full digital transformation - from setting a leadership vision to achieving culture and people change.

Faye Roth Part 2

Continuing an incredibly successful career in the retail sector, Faye has spent the last 5 years on a mission to help the industry survive the great revolution that is shaking it. In the second half of a fascinating interview, Faye looks back on her career, shares stories about female leadership in retail, advice for women building a career in the sector and the importance of recognising the diversity issues that still exist in the market.