North-East business leader, Jeanette Forbes, has been named CEO of the Year at the inaugural Scotland Women in Technology Awards. The awards, the first of their kind, celebrate the achievements of women who have the drive, commitment and passion to further the technology agenda in Scotland.
Jeanette is Chief Executive of Aberdeen based PCL Group. The company provides data cabling structures for IT and telecoms systems and the supply, maintenance and support of computer equipment to the offshore, marine, commercial, industrial and renewables sectors.
The awards were organised by Scotland Women in Technology (SWiT), a group initiative which aims to attract, inspire empower and retain women by developing a community and network to help grow women’s contribution in the IT industry.
The awards received more than 100 nominations and represented every area of the tech industry, including schools. Jeanette was one of six finalists from across Scotland who was shortlisted in the CEO category which was sponsored by JP Morgan.
Aberdeen entrepreneur Jeanette Forbes has been appointed chairwoman of the Scottish development group for Type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.
Ms Forbes, the chief executive and founder of energy sector-focused information technology company PCL Group and a former Business Woman Scotland Inspirational Woman of the Year, steps up to the role after nearly three years on the group.
She said she was drawn to JDRF because of strong historical links between the City of Aberdeen and efforts to find a cure for Type 1 diabetes. “I am in awe of the scientific research that is currently happening… from the artificial pancreas to beta cell replacement,” she said.
“We can all play an important part in finding the cure,” added Ms Forbes.
Aberdeen IT firm becomes the only local company in its sector to reach top marks of excellence in people management.
Aberdeen-headquartered PCL Group has become the only IT company in the city to gain Investors in People (IIP) Gold Standard accreditation. It joins a list of only 10 other companies across all sectors in Aberdeen to have achieved gold status.
A total cabling and IT service provider to the offshore, marine, commercial, industrial and renewables sectors, PCL Group was established by CEO Jeanette Forbes 17 years ago and now employs a team of engineers and support staff.
In being granted accreditation, PCL Group was commended by the auditor who said she was very impressed in assessing the company for the second time to find that they had worked so incredibly hard to meet the Gold Standard of Investors in People and are to be warmly congratulated on this achievement for being a great employer, an outstanding place to work and having a clear commitment to sustainability.
True grit is a characteristic of Yorkshire folk and Jeanette Forbes, chief executive of the PCL Group on Aberdeen’s Regent Quay, has got it in spades. Her company has been a total IT service provider to the oil and gas industry worldwide for 17 years and leading that has been no 9-5 sinecure. ‘It’s my company, so my responsibility,’ says Jeanette, ‘I am on call 24/7 so that if a call comes in from abroad in the middle of the night, I deal with it on the spot. Looking after the customer is the absolute key to success for me.’
Equally, Jeanette gets a buzz out of seeing her staff, including son Chris, grow the business with her. She is much in demand for mentoring young women interested in a career in oil and gas and firmly believes that although challenging, it will continue to provide excellent career prospects for many years to come.
However, nothing stands still in the helter-skelter world of this dynamic lady. For example, when Jeanette became frustrated with office-cleaning arrangements, what did she do? ‘I just decided to launch my own cleaning company so that I had control of a necessary aspect of business,’ she says. (more…)
Aberdeen entrepreneur Jeanette Forbes has backed a new Aberdeen University group trying to encourage more young women to develop an interest in science and technology.
The chief executive of energy sector-focused information technology company PCL Group got involved in the Robogals volunteers after they turned to her for support. She said: “I was really impressed with what they were trying to achieve and that they had started up the group, volunteering their own time to set it up with very little resource.”
“I just had to get involved and try and help them achieve their goal.”
Colin Donald talks to Jeanette Forbes about her work for the Scottish Chambers Mentoring Programme.
The oil price slump is playing havoc with her main home market. She has to take calls from clients in all time zones at all hours of the night. She is fighting to build a sustainable business to hand on to the next generation. And still, Jeanette Forbes devotes hours of her time to mentor growing businesses.
You have to ask: Why?
Under the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Mentoring Programme, the multi award-winning chief executive of Aberdeen-based ICT services company PCL is currently acting as guide and confidante to no fewer than seven companies, from hair dressers to engineers to chiropractors and bar and restaurant owners.
But with working days that regularly start at 5am and find her still at her desk at 10pm at night, she isn’t exactly looking for ways to fill her time. Nor is she looking for boxes to tick to show good corporate citizenship. Far from it. Having made time for mentoring, she takes it extremely seriously. Meetings with her are “not just a chat over coffee” but rigorous two-hour sessions, in which “mentees” are expected to arrive fully prepared to make the most of the joint investment of time.