Two honorary degrees awarded within a week

North-east businesswoman and entrepreneur Jeanette Forbes OBE has been awarded honorary degrees by Aberdeen’s two universities within a week.

On Thursday June 29, she was conferred with an Honorary Degree of Master of the University (MUniv) at the University of Aberdeen summer graduation ceremony at the P&J Live. The MUniv is awarded to those, in any area of endeavour, who have made important contributions to the success of the University of Aberdeen, to the local community, and/or to the Region.

On Wednesday July 5, also at P&J Live, she received the Honorary Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) from Robert Gordon University at its graduation ceremony. The criteria for the awards of honorary degrees of the Robert Gordon University are that those selected should have achieved distinction in education, industry, business, culture, arts, creative work, the community, peace and reconciliation, or public service. Such distinction will often involve a significant contribution to scholarship or learning, though other achievements may also be recognised, particularly where these have benefited education or innovation. Other considerations may include the fact that their achievements have a particular relevance to the University’s mission, and that they represent good role models for the University’s students.

Originally from Yorkshire, Jeanette moved to Aberdeen in 1986 and has lived, worked, and built successful businesses here ever since. In 2020, she was awarded an OBE for her services to business, technology, and charity.

“Aberdeen has been my home for 37 years, it’s where my family was raised and I have always felt very grateful for the career opportunities it has given me,” she said. “It’s a complete honour and privilege therefore to be recognised by our two first class universities in this way.

“Both play a part in developing the talent pipeline of the future and I have seen at first hand what their graduates have achieved across all walks of life.  Some remarkable people have been honoured by both universities over the years, and it is very humbling to be included in their ranks.”

A qualified systems engineer, Jeanette founded her first company, PCL Group, in 2000. Since then the company, which provides a full range of information technology services, has grown year on year and now services clients in 27 countries across five sectors. In 2017, she founded her second business, Aberdeen’s multi-award-winning Grape & Grain wine bar and she is currently working on another project, due to open in autumn, which will bring something very different to Aberdeen.

She also holds senior management positions on two other young companies, as CEO of Blue Gentoo and a Director of OMMICA, both of which are involved in developing ground-breaking technology for both new Energy Tech and the Net Zero sectors.

Over the years, Jeanette has won many national awards and industry accolades which recognise her role as a business leader, serial entrepreneur and mentor and her commitment to encouraging and promoting career opportunities for women in energy and technology.