The Queen’s New Year’s Honours list often brings with it a few surprises, not least for one of the hardest working women in Energy who first assumed the Royal Notice may be a hoax.
Receiving an OBE for services to Business, Technology and Charity, Aberdeen-based businesswoman Jeanette Forbes OBE is increasingly a well-known face across numerous sectors, geographies and industries and despite her polished and well-earned confidence is it clear that becoming an OBE has been something of a surprise.
“Things like this, don’t happen to people like me” she said “They just don’t” but as the conversation develops it is clear, that this award is no accident. Jeanette Forbes is unquestionably a woman on a mission to achieve something of which her children can be proud.
Raised in the industrial heartlands of West Yorkshire, Jeanette may well be one of the busiest people on the planet.
A mum to two grown-up children, both of whom work in senior positions within her group of companies, Jeanette is the entrepreneurial CEO of a number of businesses including the self-founded PCL Group, and Energy company Blue Gentoo, as a well as the owner of Grape and Grain, an award-winning wine bar in the west end of Aberdeen. With a commitment to charitable endeavours, Jeanette is also a Trustee to the Aberdeen Seafarers Centre on Market Street.
Now, with her son installed as MD for PCL Group, Jeanette has turned her attention to Blue Gentoo, an innovative digital and progressive gas hydrate pipeline management package. Unsatisfied with solving the complex issue of ice plugs in pipelines, Jeanette is already excited by the potential Blue Gentoo’s technology may provide for sectors such as bio-medical science.
Maintaining the delicate balance between career and family is a challenge known to many in the Energy Sector, and despite the unexpected passing of her late husband, who also worked in the business, Jeanette has risen to the challenge of being mum, dad and boss with aplomb and determination.
“I’m at the point where I want to give something back… I’ve had nearly 40 years in Oil and Gas, and I want to feel my life’s learning has not been wasted. I want to leave a legacy that inspires young girls in the way that other successful women inspired me. I’ve had a fantastic career; it’s been amazing, and I’ve come full circle now. I think, knowing that my children are going to continue the business, is a very comforting feeling. They’ve been with me on this journey for 18 years and it has been great to watch them grow firstly as individuals and then into young professionals. I’ve watched them work their socks off and as a parent I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to watch them mature. I am extremely proud of all my employees; I have some amazing people who work for me and we have never had anything that separates staff from family members. I just wish I had the next 40 years in this industry - I’d love to do this all over again.”
“I think, knowing that my children are going to continue the business, is a very comforting feeling. They’ve been with me on this journey for 18 years...”