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Honorary degree for ‘most powerful woman in UK tech’

Monday 17 July 2017

A FACEBOOK boss described as ‘the most powerful woman in the British tech industry’ is being given an honorary degree by the University of Salford.

Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook Vice President for Europe, the Middle East and Africa – and the digital giant’s most senior figure outside the US – will receive her Honorary Doctorate of Arts during a ceremony at The Lowry in Salford this week.

The Manchester-born advertising executive, who went to Manchester High School for Girls, has worked in the position since 2013 after senior roles in London agency Karmarama and the Grey Group.

She was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for services to the creative industries in 2015, and has featured in Debrett’s People Of Influence list, as well as power lists compiled by The Guardian, Advertising Age and Management Today.

GQ said her rise through the ranks of advertising proved her ‘one of the biggest winners of new business ever seen in the industry’ while The Telegraph said she was ‘the most powerful woman in the British tech industry’.

As well as her success in the industry, she has raised plaudits for supporting women’s career advancement and advocating a work life balance and flexitime for women with families – and has worked a four day week since her first child was one year old.

She leads the Women At Facebook group which provides support for female employees and spearheaded the Facebook-led campaign She Means Business, helping more women get their start-up ideas off the ground.

She is co-chair of the Creative Industries Council, is a judge on the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction Writers and previously served as the first female president of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising.

Professor Abigail Gregory, Associate Dean of the University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media, said: “Nicola Mendelsohn’s success in her field serves as an inspiration to any young person hoping to work in the advertising industry, while her commitment to women’s advancement in the workplace and to work life balance sends out a very strong message that it is possible to have an incredibly successful career while still having time for family and the other important things in life.

“Nicola’s fantastic achievements can be realised in one of her favourite phrases, which adorn the walls at Facebook – What would you do if you weren’t afraid? That is a question that I hope will inspire our students, particularly young women about to graduate and set out on their careers.

“As an institution working hard to support women’s career progression and gender equality, we are honoured to be giving Nicola this award.”

Nicola Mendelsohn receives her award at The Lowry on Friday July 21.