Vice-Chancellor, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Jacqueline de Rojas, CBE. Jacqueline has had a huge impact on the UK’s digital life and those who work to support it. She has held prominent leadership positions in industry, guided national organisations through periods of fundamental disruption and advised government on the scale and importance of digital transformation.
Jacqueline was the first in her family to attend university, rose swiftly through the tech industry and now sits on the boards of Rightmove, Costain and AO World. She advises the Government’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Chairs Digital Leaders, a global initiative that brings together one hundred and thirty thousand senior leaders and is the President of techUK, our leading technology membership organisation, with more than 850 member companies across the UK.
It is, therefore, entirely appropriate that Jacqueline receives an honorary degree at the University’s first fully online award ceremony.
Throughout a career marked by personal achievement and social impact, Jacqueline has made a point of focusing on and encouraging us to ask the question “Where are the others”, using her platform to remind us of the need to constantly ask why diversity and inclusion remain challenges rather than a given. She published a Women in Tech Manifesto for techUK in 2014, was recognised at the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in 2019, works with the Big Youth Group and is justifiably proud of her position as an ambassador for the Girl Guides – an organisation with whom she worked on a ground-breaking STEM badge in 2018. Jacqueline also advises the 30% club and the Founder's Forum AccelerateHER.
Jaqueline’s ongoing focus on education and training makes it particularly appropriate that I introduce her in this context today. She sits on the committee of the Prince's Trust, is the Co-chair of the Institute of Coding, a national initiative led by the University of Bath, and was appointed by the Prime Minister to the panel of the Augar review into Past-18 Education and Funding in 2018.
It comes as no surprise that Jacqueline has been widely recognised for her work, being named as the Most Influential Woman in I.T. by Computer Weekly in 2015, before her induction into their hall of fame in 2018. She has been named one of Europe’s inspiring 50 female role models, was included in Debrett’s 500 People of Influence in 2017 and even appeared on Desert Island Discs last year. Jacqueline was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) for Services to International Trade in Technology in the Queen's New Year Honours list 2018.
Vice-Chancellor, in recognition of her impact on the technological aspects of our industries, her contributions to our national life and ongoing collaboration with this university, I present to you Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, who is exceptionally worthy to receive the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa.