“Don’t wait – get on with it!” – Martha Lane-Fox, entrepreneur, internet visionary and philanthropist
1. She founded Lastminute.com with former colleague Brent Hoberman in 1998 at the height of the dotcom bubble. Two years later, it floated at £700million. She and Brent sold it for £577million in 2005, and Lane Fox launched karaoke club chain Lucky Voice later that year.
2. She was the youngest female member ever of the House of Lords, aged 40 when she joined in March 2013 (she also received a CBE that year). She is also on the Government Digital Service advisory board.
3. She’s a non-executive director of Twitter and is on the board of Marks and Spencer and mydeco.com, as well as the Creative Industries Federation, The Scale Up Institute and the Open Data Institute. She is also non-executive director at the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and Chancellor of the Open University.
4. She founded her own charitable foundation Antigone (named after a Ancient Greek heroine) and is patron of AbilityNet, Reprieve, Camfed and Just for Kids Law.
5. She founded Doteveryone in 2012, a campaign to make the UK the most digitally skilled nation in the world. Lane Fox has explained that it has three aims: “Ensuring the 23% of British adults who do not use the internet are brought up to speed, to improve end of life care and other essentials through products and services, and to achieve equal representation of women and men in the tech industry by 2026.”
6. Lane Fox is a champion of human rights, women’s rights and social justice. She’s a vociferous campaigner for more diversity on boards, explaining: “Women make up just 3% of partners in venture capital firms, 20% of tech founders and, perhaps most shockingly, 4% of software engineers. The people building the internet, the services we all use, are overwhelmingly men.”
Get more tips on how to improve the performance of your business by hearing more from Baroness Lane Fox at the IoD Annual Convention 2016.
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