How Xansa's pioneering IT dame led way for women

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How Xansa's pioneering IT dame led way for women

Karen Gomm
Hilary Cropper, former chief executive of IT services company Xansa, director of Barclays Bank, and one of the most prominent women in IT, died at the end of last month, aged 63.

Cropper became chief executive of Xansa in 1985, placed the company on the London Stock Exchange in 1996, and led an employee buy-out in 2001.

By 1999 she was the highest-paid woman in Britain, earning £17m in one year. During her 17 years at Xansa, the company's revenues rose from £7m to more than £500m.

Six months ago Cropper was made a dame of the British Empire for the second time for her charitable work, having already won the honour in 1999 for her services to the finance industry. Cropper also won awards for championing the role of women in the IT industry.

Cropper started her career as an apprentice in a factory in Trafford Park, Manchester after completing a degree in maths at Salford University. She stepped down from her post as chairman of Xansa in 2003 due to ill health.

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