Leeds Met award Denise Jagger honorary Doctorate of Laws
Denise, who has a long-standing association with Leeds Met, is also non-executive Director of Bellway plc., a non-executive Vice Chairman of Northern Ballet and an Independent Director of the British Olympic Association.
Speaking about receiving the award she said: "I'm really honoured that the University has chosen to recognise me in this way, I'm thrilled to receive this honorary award.
The advice that I would give to students graduating is to have a positive outlook, be tenacious and learn from all their experiences. I'm sure their careers won't go exactly as they think of them today, mine certainly hasn't, but all to the benefit. Graduates need to keep their eyes open for opportunities and really understand what their strengths are, so that when those opportunities come along they can move into areas which really interest them and play to their strengths."
Denise trained and worked as a corporate finance lawyer in London before embarking on her in-house career with Eversheds. Earlier in her working life she was sole in-house lawyer for a UK and US listed conglomerate and later became Company Secretary and General Counsel at Asda during its rapid growth period. She remained in this role when the super chain became part of the international retailer, Walmart, and was responsible for a number of central functions such as pensions, shares schemes and corporate and public affairs.
Since joining Eversheds as a Partner in 2004, Denise has introduced new products such as the innovative Eversheds Academy, a commercial awareness training programme for in-house lawyers, developed with Warwick Business School. She also provides guidance to clients seeking to optimise their in-house legal resource to ensure it is valued and aligned with the business and provides individual and team development and coaching.
In 2012 she was awarded the coveted Woman of Achievement Award at the 10th Annual Women in the City Lunch and Awards ceremony winning both the legal category and Overall Award for her longstanding and active support for the development of women at all levels in the workplace.
Denise has a longstanding association with Leeds Metropolitan, undertaking a postgraduate diploma in EU Law in 1980 and attending French language classes from 2000-2004 whilst working at Asda. After moving to Eversheds she retained her links with Leeds Met and formally launched the University's Business Language Champions project which was later taken over nationally.
A champion for women's development in business, Denise established and leads 'Carrie' at Eversheds, a networking forum in several of the firm's international offices for female in-house lawyers. She was also instrumental in setting up the firm's first Diversity Committee and is an active member of the 30% Club which helps to promote women in Board level roles and is taking a leading role in its current focus on professional services firms.
In addition Denise is a mentor for the new Eversheds Unlocked Academy which supports talented students from non-traditional backgrounds who aspire to a career in the law.
Leeds Metropolitan University Vice Chancellor, Professor Susan Price, said: "We are delighted to recognise such a wide variety of individuals who have made a significant contribution to their field. This year's awards are particularly varied, with inspiring people from a range of backgrounds including business, arts, law, sport and the entertainment industry. We are very much looking forward to welcoming them to our Headingley Campus to celebrate with us as we recognise the achievements of our staff and graduating students."