Tristia Harrison, Chief Executive at TalkTalk, has been awarded an honorary degree from the University of Salford in recognition of her contribution to enhancing digital skills in the community and for spearheading initiatives that encourage women to work in the technology sector.
The award was presented on 21 July as part of the University of Salford’s summer graduation ceremonies held at The Lowry, MediaCityUK.
Harrison has held a number of senior management and executive positions in The Carphone Warehouse and TalkTalk Group and has been in the role of CEO since 2017. She was an instrumental figure in the Telecom giant’s decision to move its headquarters from London to Salford in 2018. The investment in the region created hundreds of new jobs across the north west. She has developed a number of community engagement programmes in the region that aim to bridge the digital skills gap and has been pivotal in creating a partnership with the University of Salford that has provided learning, mentoring and employment opportunities to its students and graduates.
On receiving her honorary degree, Harrison said: “I am grateful to have received this accolade from the university. I am passionate about connecting with the local community and advocate the importance of supporting young people with confidence, skills and experience for the success of their future.
“Our work with Salford University has created invaluable relationships between TalkTalk and students, academics and key stakeholders in Salford – to create a neighbourhood of talent and opportunity.”
Professor Joe Sweeney, Dean of The School of Science, Engineering and Environment added: “I am delighted that we are able to recognise Tristia’s achievements by the award of an honorary degree. She is a fantastic role model to women working in technology sector and her passion for engagement with the community is inspirational. At Salford we have a proud record of digital innovation and working with high–profile industry partners with regional, national, and global standing, such as TalkTalk. This has empowered students, by enabling us to devise and implement class–leading training programmes, and delivered projects with positive socio-economic impact, creating jobs and opportunities for both our graduates and local residents.
“Our partnership with TalkTalk has had many impacts, highlights being the Fast Track Digital Data Academy, and the development of the GM Institute of Technology. We are looking forward to building on our relationship, and further cementing the reputation of Salford as a digital hub in GM, the UK and internationally.”
Tristia is the Trustee Chair of homelessness charity Crisis and an Honorary Trustee at the national charity Ambitious about Autism. She is also a member of the CEO board and a founder member of the industry campaign against online harms, Internet Matters. And is an Independent Non-Executive Director at Next Plc.