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Breaking through barriers in the male dominated sectors of ICT and Oil & Gas takes a huge amount of conviction, resilience and vision. And that’s exactly how entrepreneur Jeanette Forbes managed to thrive in the business world. She rose from receptionist, secretary and working mum to award-winning entrepreneur and CEO of one of Scotland’s most innovative ICT companies, the PCL Group.
Jeanette started Aberdeen-based PCL Group from her dining room table, with her only internet access being the metred computer in the local library. Some 17 years later this award-winning company boasts clients from around the globe.
As PCL Group’s chief executive, she is completely serious when she says she’s at the helm of her business 24 hours a day.
With clients across five sectors - Offshore, Marine, Commercial, Industrial and Renewables, locally, nationally and internationally, Jeanette has kept the on-duty phone by her side 24/7 for 17 years.
Jeanette said: “Managing PCL Group is like oxygen, I need it to survive. The journey that I embarked upon 17 years ago seems like only yesterday. I have a great team behind me and the best reward for anyone in my position is watching your staff grow and develop.”
She is committed to helping other women in enterprise. For that reason, Jeanette became a founding Ambassador for Women’s Enterprise Scotland when the organisation was established in 2011. She is also passionate about the benefits of mentoring and is on the Advisory Board for the new Women’s Business Mentoring programme, a collaboration between Scottish Chambers of Commerce and Women’s Enterprise Scotland.
“Without my business mentor, PCL Group would not be around today. Because of how vital this relationship has been to me, I’m passionate about helping others to benefit from mentoring as well. I have mentees whom I work with closely, because it is so important to keep paying it forward, to share your experience and help nurture the next generation of business leaders,” she said.
Jeanette Forbes is a former Business Woman Scotland Inspirational Woman of the Year and won the Best Female Mentor UK Award from the British Chamber of Commerce “Excellence in Women’s Enterprise and Mentoring” in 2014.
“Every woman should be given the opportunity to run their own business; ‘entrepreneurship’ is just a word not a barrier.”