St Hugh’s alumna, Rebecca George awarded CBE in New Year Honours 2023
We are delighted to offer our congratulations to St Hugh’s alumna, Rebecca George CBE (English Language and Literature, 1980) who has been appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year Honours 2023 for services to diversity in the technology profession. Rebecca was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2006 for services to IT and for her work supporting the Egan Review of sustainable community skills.
Rebecca chose St Hugh’s College as there were far fewer women than men at Oxford at the time, and even fewer from comprehensive schools, and she believed that she would have a better experience there than more traditional Oxford colleges. She believes that this was the case – she had, or took, more opportunities to do different things at St Hugh’s than she may have been able to elsewhere, including taking leadership roles at St Hugh’s. Rebecca ran the St Hugh’s Players, the drama society for the college from her first term onwards. She did a deal with the rowing team, committing to supporting their early morning rowing sessions in return for their presence at her plays.
Rebecca taught herself to use the only computer that the college had, to type up her own and others’ work, and at one point was the only person who knew how to change the printer ribbon. Exploiting the potential of computers in a multitude of ways to support and change organisations went on to become Rebecca’s career at IBM then Deloitte, a career which also included being President of the BCS, the Chartered Institute of IT. Talking about her time at St Hugh’s, Rebecca said, ‘I took every opportunity that St Hugh’s and Oxford had to offer, and loved it all!’
From Oxford, Rebecca went to Boston University on a scholarship and took an MsC in Broadcasting, specialising in cable TV and satellite systems.
Keen to encourage more women into the IT sector, Rebecca said ‘Girls and women – look at IT! There are a wide range of interesting and well paid jobs suited to all passions and capabilities. Technical, project and change management, communications, analysis, sales, security, maintenance and assurance to name a few.’