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为什么有事业雄心的女人,头顶都是平的?

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

当我写回忆录时,
When I wrote my memoir,
出版人感到非常困惑。
the publishers were really confused.
这是关于我作为一个儿童难民?
Was it about me as a child refugee,
还是作为一个在上世纪六十年代从建立了高级技术软件公司,
or as a woman who set up a high-tech software company back in the 1960s,
到正式上市,
one that went public
最终发展成为拥有8500多名员工的大公司的女强人?
and eventually employed over 8,500 people?
还是身为一个自闭症孩子的母亲?
Or was it as a mother of an autistic child?
或者是现在慷慨大方的慈善家?
Or as a philanthropist that’s now given away serious money?
嗯,其实,这些全都是我。
Well, it turns out, I’m all of these.
那么, 现在由我来讲述关于我自己的故事吧。
So let me tell you my story.
一切都从我坐上一列 前往维也纳的火车开始,
All that I am stems from when I got onto a train in Vienna,
这列火车是Kindertransport营救行动的一部分,将近有一万名犹太孩子。
part of the Kindertransport that saved nearly 10,000 Jewish children
从纳粹手中获救,
from Nazi Europe.
我那时只有5岁,抓着我9岁的姐姐的手,
I was five years old, clutching the hand of my nine-year-old sister
对发生的事茫然无知。
and had very little idea as to what was going on.
“英国是什么?我为什么要去那?”
“What is England and why am I going there?”
我能活下来,完全是因为很久很久之前, 热心的陌生人帮助了我。
I’m only alive because so long ago, I was helped by generous strangers.
我很幸运,更幸运的是,
I was lucky, and doubly lucky to be later reunited
后来我跟亲生父母重聚了。
with my birth parents.
但不幸的是,后来就再也没有相聚过。
But, sadly, I never bonded with them again.
但是自从母亲把我送上火车,在这70年间,
But I’ve done more in the seven decades since that miserable day
我做过的事情之多,
when my mother put me on the train
远超出想象。
than I would ever have dreamed possible.
我热爱英国,接纳我的国家
And I love England, my adopted country,
这种热爱, 或许只有那些 丧失过人权的人,才可以感受到。
with a passion that perhaps only someone who has lost their human rights can feel.
我下定决心要证明我的存活是有价值的,是值得被拯救的。
I decided to make mine a life that was worth saving.
而后,我确实做到了。
And then, I just got on with it.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
让我们把思绪拉回到上世纪六十年代,
Let me take you back to the early 1960s.
为了对抗当时的性别歧视问题。
To get past the gender issues of the time,
作为英国软件行业第一批企业家之一, 我创立了自己的软件公司。
I set up my own software house at one of the first such startups in Britain.
这同时也是一家只有女雇员只为女性提供机会的,
But it was also a company of women, a company for women,
一个处在发展初期的公司,
an early social business.
人们对此嗤之以鼻, 因为在那时
And people laughed at the very idea because software, at that time,
软件是随硬件免费赠送的。
was given away free with hardware.
没人会掏钱买软件,当然也不会从女人手里买,
Nobody would buy software, certainly not from a woman.
尽管那时的女性读过大学,有了像样的文凭。
Although women were then coming out of the universities with decent degrees,
但是,通往职业的道路是布满荆棘的。
there was a glass ceiling to our progress.
我为冲破这些壁障不断努力,
And I’d hit that glass ceiling too often,
我想为职场女性创造机会。
and I wanted opportunities for women.
我招募那些拥有优秀职业技能 却在婚后离开工作岗位的女性,
I recruited professionally qualified women who’d left the industry on marriage,
还为那些准备生第一个孩子的女性,
or when their first child was expected
提供她们可以在家里完成的工作。
and structured them into a home-working organization.
我们开拓了一种新观念,就是女性可再次返回工作,
We pioneered the concept of women going back into the workforce
在经历过一段职业间歇后,
after a career break.
我们是倡导各种新颖而灵活的商业模式的先锋:
We pioneered all sorts of new, flexible work methods:
股票分红,利润分红,还有共同所有权——
job shares, profit-sharing, and eventually, co-ownership
我把公司股权的四分之一交给员工,
when I took a quarter of the company into the hands of the staff
这只减少了我的个人收入而已。
at no cost to anyone but me.
多年以来,我有许许多多个“首个xx女性”的称呼
For years, I was the first woman this, or the only woman that.
在那个年代,我无法进行证券交易,
And in those days, I couldn’t work on the stock exchange,
我不能开公交或者驾驶飞机,
I couldn’t drive a bus or fly an airplane.
而且,没有我丈夫的批准我是不能开通银行账户的。
Indeed, I couldn’t open a bank account without my husband’s permission.
我们那个时代的女性,要为工作的权利。
My generation of women fought the battles for the right to work
及收益平等而斗争,
and the right for equal pay.
没有人真正的对他们的工作和社会抱有太大的期望,
Nobody really expected much from people at work or in society
因为那时对女性所有的期望就是,
because all the expectations then
承担家庭责任,操持家务。
were about home and family responsibilities.
我实在无法接受,
And I couldn’t really face that,
所以我向这个社会习俗发起挑战。
so I started to challenge the conventions of the time,
甚至在某种程度上我还把名字由“斯蒂芬妮”改成“斯蒂夫”,
even to the extent of changing my name from “Stephanie” to “Steve”
用在我生意来往的信上
in my business development letters,
以便于在别人看出“他”其实是“她”之前
so as to get through the door before anyone realized
成为生意的敲门砖
that he was a she.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
我的公司叫Freelance Programmers (自由职业程序员),顾名思义
My company, called Freelance Programmers, and that’s precisely what it was,
它的成立起源于餐桌上,我想再没有比它更小的场地了
couldn’t have started smaller: on the dining room table,
公司注册资金仅相当于今天的100美金
and financed by the equivalent of 100 dollars in today’s terms,
这些都是自己通过劳动,房屋抵押所聚集起来的钱
and financed by my labor and by borrowing against the house.
我的兴趣是科学技术,但是市场太过商业化――
My interests were scientific, the market was commercial —
人们只关心一些薪水报酬之类的,尽管我觉得这些都很无聊
things such as payroll, which I found rather boring.
但我不得不在研发工作上做出让步
So I had to compromise with operational research work,
所以放弃那些吸引我的,有智慧挑战性的
which had the intellectual challenge that interested me
具有客户所看重的商业价值的研究:
and the commercial value that was valued by the clients:
比如说货车时刻表
things like scheduling freight trains,
公交车时间编排,股票控制, 许多许多的股票控制之类的事情
time-tabling buses, stock control, lots and lots of stock control.
最后,订单终于来了
And eventually, the work came in.
我们掩盖了在家办公和兼职工作的员工属性,
We disguised the domestic and part-time nature of the staff
通过提供稳定的价格,这在这个行业成为罕见的先例
by offering fixed prices, one of the very first to do so.
并且会有谁会猜到
And who would have guessed that the programming
协和的超音速飞行的黑匣子飞行记录器
of the black box flight recorder of Supersonic Concord
是出自一群在家中兼职的女性呢
would have been done by a bunch of women working in their own homes.
(掌声)
(Applause)
支撑我们完成这些的,只有一个简单的理念: “相信员工”
All we used was a simple “trust the staff” approach
还有一个简单的电话。
and a simple telephone.
我们甚至还问前来申请工作的人: “你家里有电话吗?”
We even used to ask job applicants, “Do you have access to a telephone?”
我们早期的一个项目是开发一个
An early project was to develop software standards
管理控制协议的软件标准。
on management control protocols.
“软件”曾是,现也依然是 极易失控、令人抓狂的东西,
And software was and still is a maddeningly hard-to-control activity,
因此我们的那个项目价值连城。
so that was enormously valuable.
我们自己也采用了这套标准,
We used the standards ourselves,
持续多年对其进行有偿更新,
we were even paid to update them over the years,
最终,它被北约采用,作为标准。
and eventually, they were adopted by NATO.
我们的程序员――记住,只有女性,
Our programmers — remember, only women,
包括同性恋和变性者——
including gay and transgender —
用铅笔在纸上画下那一幅幅流程图,
worked with pencil and paper to develop flowcharts
定义每一项需要完成的任务。
defining each task to be done.
然后她们写代码,通常是写机器代码,
And they then wrote code, usually machine code,
有时还有二进制编码,
sometimes binary code,
这些代码通过邮件,被寄到数据中心,
which was then sent by mail to a data center
打在纸带或卡片上, (那时的程序是通过在纸带上的孔来让计算机读取的)
to be punched onto paper tape or card
反复打孔,确保无误。
and then re-punched, in order to verify it.
这一切都是远在近代电脑出现前的做法。
All this, before it ever got near a computer.
这就是上世纪六十年代的早期编程方式。
That was programming in the early 1960s.
1975年,公司创立后的第13年,
In 1975, 13 years from startup,
英国通过了平等就业法规,
equal opportunity legislation came in in Britain
只雇佣女性的做法成了违法的政策。
and that made it illegal to have our pro-female policies.
因此,始料未及地,
And as an example of unintended consequences,
我们的“女性公司”,不得不让男人进来了。
my female company had to let the men in.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
当我创立我的女性公司时,
When I started my company of women,
有男性说:多么有趣,因为公司规模小,才能得以正常运行。”
the men said, “How interesting, because it only works because it’s small.”
后来,公司规模扩大了, 他们说:“没错,规模是大了,
And later, as it became sizable, they accepted, “Yes, it is sizable now,
但是没有战略上的利益。”
but of no strategic interest.”
再后来,当这个公司 估值超过三十亿美金时,
And later, when it was a company valued at over three billion dollars,
我们让70名员工变成了百万富翁,
and I’d made 70 of the staff into millionaires,
他们好像是这么说的:“干得好,史蒂夫!”
they sort of said, “Well done, Steve!”
(笑声)
(Laughter)
(掌声)
(Applause)
你可以通过她们的发型设计来判断她是不是有野心的女性。
You can always tell ambitious women by the shape of our heads:
她们的头顶很平,那是用来 屈尊俯就让别人拍打的。
They’re flat on top for being patted patronizingly.
(笑声)(掌声)
(Laughter) (Applause)
我们的脚足够大以至于我们可以走出厨房。
And we have larger feet to stand away from the kitchen sink.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
我来跟你们分享两个成功的秘密:
Let me share with you two secrets of success:
让自己周围都是精英,和自己喜欢的人;
Surround yourself with first-class people and people that you like;
然后谨慎、再谨慎地,挑选自己的搭档。
and choose your partner very, very carefully.
因为前几天当我说:“我的丈夫是天使”,
Because the other day when I said, “My husband’s an angel,”
一个女人抱怨道——“你真幸运,”她说,
a woman complained — “You’re lucky,” she said,
“我的丈夫还活着。”
“mine’s still alive.”
(笑声)
(Laughter)
如果成功很容易,那我们都早成百万富翁了。
If success were easy, we’d all be millionaires.
但对我而言,我的成功是伴随着 家庭的“创伤”的,甚至是“危机”。
But in my case, it came in the midst of family trauma and indeed, crisis.
我老来得子。Giles,是我唯一的孩子, 一个美丽的、令人心满意足的孩子。
Our late son, Giles, was an only child, a beautiful, contented baby.
后来,两岁半的时候,
And then, at two and a half,
就像童话故事里被仙女偷换了一样,
like a changeling in a fairy story,
他不再言语,
he lost the little speech that he had
变成了焦躁、不听话的小孩。
and turned into a wild, unmanageable toddler.
不是普通两岁小孩的那种“糟糕状态”,
Not the terrible twos;
而是严重的自闭症,他再也没张口说过话。
he was profoundly autistic and he never spoke again.
Giles是我成立的第一家为自闭症患者提供服务的慈善机构的第一个房子的
Giles was the first resident in the first house of the first charity that I set up
第一位住客。
to pioneer services for autism.
那时还有一个创新的前法庭学校,
And then there’s been a groundbreaking Prior’s Court school
是为自闭症学生所准备的,
for pupils with autism
还有医疗慈善机构,这些都是为自闭症患者提供的。
and a medical research charity, again, all for autism.
因为每当我发现现有服务的不足, 我就尽自己的力量去填补。
Because whenever I found a gap in services, I tried to help.
我喜欢做新鲜的事, 让创新成为现实。
I like doing new things and making new things happen.
最近我刚为自闭症患者 建立了三年智囊团服务。
And I’ve just started a three-year think tank for autism.
我的部分财富回馈到了我获取财富的行业,
And so that some of my wealth does go back to the industry from which it stems,
我还建立了牛津互联网研究院
I’ve also founded the Oxford Internet Institute
和其他的一些IT企业。
and other IT ventures.
牛津互联网研究院不仅仅关注技术,
The Oxford Internet Institute focuses not on the technology,
也关注互联网的社会、经济、法律和道德问题。
but on the social, economic, legal and ethical issues of the Internet.
Giles在17年前突然去世了。
Giles died unexpectedly 17 years ago now.
我已经学会了没有他在身边,
And I have learned to live without him,
学会了生活在没有他需要的世界里。
and I have learned to live without his need of me.
现在我的精力都放在了慈善事业上。
Philanthropy is all that I do now.
走在路上我不必担心迷路,
I need never worry about getting lost
因为许多慈善机构都能快速地找到我。
because several charities would quickly come and find me.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
有一个创业的点子是一回事,
It’s one thing to have an idea for an enterprise,
但在座的很多人都知道,
but as many people in this room will know,
让这个点子变成现实是很难的,
making it happen is a very difficult thing
这需要巨大的精力投入,坚定的信念和决心,
and it demands extraordinary energy, self-belief and determination,
还有承担家庭问题的风险的勇气,
the courage to risk family and home,
基本上要面临着每周每天24小时全面无休的工作状态。
and a 24/7 commitment that borders on the obsessive.
没错,我就是个工作狂。
So it’s just as well that I’m a workaholic.
我相信,当我们以谦逊的心态做正确的事时, 就能发现工作的美。
I believe in the beauty of work when we do it properly and in humility.
工作之于我来说不仅仅是做那么简单,如果是这样,那我宁愿做其它的事情。
Work is not just something I do when I’d rather be doing something else.
生活需要向前看,
We live our lives forward.
我的这些经历教给了我什么?
So what has all that taught me?
我学到了:明天永远不会像今天这样,
I learned that tomorrow’s never going to be like today,
当然也不可能像昨天那样。
and certainly nothing like yesterday.
这让我能够适应一切变化,
And that made me able to cope with change,
最终,切实地拥抱变化,
indeed, eventually to welcome change,
虽然很难做到。
though I’m told I’m still very difficult.
非常感谢你们。
Thank you very much.
(掌声)
(Applause)

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视频概述

Dame stephanie shirley是一位传奇女性,不仅是著名企业家、慈善家而且是一位伟大的母亲,在这里,他与我们分享了关于她自己的故事,让我们一起听她讲述她自己的传奇故事吧!

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赖皮

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ftow7dSpaiY

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