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Honorary award for Scottish technology leader


A senior female leader working in the world of technology will have her achievements recognised with an honorary award of Doctor of Technology (DTech) from Robert Gordon University (RGU) this week.

Gillian DochertyGillian Docherty, Chief Executive Officer of The Data Lab, will receive the honour at RGU’s graduation ceremony on Friday 13 July at 2:30pm.

The university has chosen to confer the degree on Ms Docherty in recognition of her leading role in the IT industry, where she became a role model in a sector where women are often under-represented, and her leadership of The Data Lab, a Scottish Government-sponsored innovation centre.

The Data Lab’s core mission around innovation and the development of new data science capabilities has led to support for a number of RGU researchers over the years, as the two organisations work to benefit society and the economy.

Professor Ferdinand von Prondzynski, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of RGU, commented: “It is truly a pleasure to be able to recognise Gillian’s achievements with this honorary doctorate. Her career in technology absolutely speaks for itself and she is an excellent example for our young aspirational graduates.

“RGU has worked closely on a number of innovative projects with Gillian and her colleagues at The Data Lab and we are extremely proud to be able to honour her in this way.”

Ms Docherty has over 25 years’ experience working in the technology sector, after graduating from the University of Glasgow with a degree in Computing Science.

Prior to joining The Data Lab in 2015, she held a range of senior leadership roles at IBM UK, including Leader for Software Business in Scotland, Systems and Technology Sales Leader, and Territory Leader for General Business Scotland.

In her role as Chief Executive Officer at The Data Lab, she is responsible for delivering the strategic vision to maximise the value to Scotland from data, which aims to create over 250 new jobs and to generate more than £100 million for Scotland’s economy.

As part of her ongoing work, Ms Docherty is shaping the data landscape in Scotland, developing national talent and making it her mission to help Scotland fulfil its potential as a world-leading destination for data science.

Ms Docherty is on the board of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, a trustee at Beyonder Involve and an Industry Advisory for Previse.

Last year was a particularly successful year for her. Not only was she named CEO of the Year at the ScotlandIS Digital Technology Awards and delivered a TEDx talk – “2037 – Who’s leading? Who’s following?” – she was also listed as one of the top 10 most influential data professionals in the UK.

Gillian has also recently been named Digital Leader of the Year 2018 by DigiLeaders UK.