Dame Stephanie Shirley

The Worshipful Company of Information Technologists is the 100th Livery Company of the City of London, bringing together the centuries old Livery tradition and information technology - the key industry of the new millennium.

It was started by three IT professionals – the late Alan Benjamin, Barney Gibbens and Bernard Harty – in the early 1980s, made a City Company without a grant of livery in 1986, was awarded full Livery Company status in 1992 and achieved chartered status in 2010.

Dame Stephanie Shirley was invited to be on the founding Court and became its first woman Master in 1992. In those days the Company operated out of loaned offices. It was rescued from these cramped conditions in 1998 when Dame Stephanie donated £5m to enable the Company to acquire a permanent home located in Bartholomew Close within the City of London, and to boost its charitable activities. The £1m refurbishment of the building was financed by members of the WCIT and the Information Technologists' Hall was formally opened by Sir David Howard Bt, the Lord Mayor of the City of London, on 20 September 2001.

The Company's work covers three broad areas:

Promoting commerce - increasing awareness and understanding of the IT industry, raising issues that are relevant to the industry's future and supporting the development of quality IT.

Education and Training - helping young people acquire IT skills through projects such as the Journeyman scheme.

Charitable Activities - using members' experience and skills to benefit charitable projects related to IT.

The Company also organises a programme of events to bring together like-minded people and to encourage the greatest possible support and participation from the 600 plus liverymen and freemen of the Company - all of whom are leading practitioners in the IT profession.

Dame Stephanie takes a keen interest in all the Company's activities, and particularly in the charitable initiatives and the use of IT in the voluntary sector.

For further information please go to www.wcit.org.uk.

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