Twitter director Marjorie Scardino awarded honorary doctorate

Businesswoman and former journalist Dame Marjorie Scardino, tipped as the next head of the BBC Trust, has received an honorary doctorate of laws from the University of Roehampton.

Posted: 28 July 2014

image for news story Twitter director Marjorie Scardino awarded honorary doctorate
Marjorie Scardino thanked the University after being presented with an honorary doctorate

The University, where around 75 per cent of the 10,000 students are women, believes Dame Marjorie is an excellent role model: She has broken glass ceilings in both the Pearson and twitter boardrooms during her career. Currently she is chair of the MacArthur Foundation, one of the biggest philanthropic organisations in the USA.

A spokesman for the University of Roehampton said: “Marjorie Scardino’s career is proof that with drive and ambition it is possible to reach the very heights of business, at the same time as helping to create a better world. These are the characteristics we hope for and expect from our graduates: Dame Marjorie is an ideal example to them.”

Having started work as a journalist for the Associated Press news agency in West Virginia, in 1997 she became chief executive of Pearson, the company which owns the Financial Times. That role made her the first woman chief of a FTSE 100 listed company. Pearson went on to make profits of almost £1bn.

More recently, she has become a British citizen, and was made a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 2002. Five years later she was named by Forbes magazine as the 17th most powerful woman in the world.

She left Pearson in 2012 and in December 2013 joined the board of twitter as its first woman director. She also sits on the boards of a number of charitable, educational and philanthropic organisations, including Oxfam, the Royal College of Art and the MacArthur Foundation.

Speculation about a potential role at the top of BBC Trust was sparked following the resignation of Lord Patten last year after major heart surgery, and the widely reported understanding that Prime Minister David Cameron believed the next post-holder should be a woman with substantial relevant experience.

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