CeADAR appoints first woman chair of any Irish technology centre

7 Mar 2022

Image: Bronagh Riordan

Bronagh Riordan, head of data and analytics at Primark, will take over as chair of CeADAR and hopes to push forward the ‘diversity and inclusion agenda’ in the industry.

Bronagh Riordan will be the first woman chair of any technology centre in Ireland following her appointment to lead the steering board of CeADAR, Ireland’s centre for applied AI.

Riordan is currently Primark’s head of data and analytics. Prior to that, she was director of Deutsche Bank’s Global Analytics Centre of Excellence and head of data science for Car Trawler.

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Commenting on her appointment, she said she was very “proud to be first female chair of any technology centre in Ireland”.

She added that she hoped her appointment would increase “the visibility and representation of women in critical technical data and analytics roles” and push forward the “diversity and inclusion agenda in this space”.

CeADAR is one of eight technology centres across the country under the technology centre programme supported by Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland.

Riordan’s appointment will see her chair CeADAR, which has a network of more than 90 member companies.

As one of 30 digital innovation hubs in the EU focused on delivering AI services to industry, CeADAR aims to bring innovation in AI, machine learning and data analytics into companies to allow them to use the technology to build new products and services and give them a competitive advantage.

“I am honoured to be taking up the mantle as chair of the CeADAR board and my role is to support the team at CeADAR with regards to its overall vision and strategic direction and to provide strong leadership to the board. I want to supercharge the board and leverage the experience of each individual member to help drive the centre’s innovation agenda,” Riordan said.

She has been on CeADAR’s industry steering board for the last three years prior to her appointment as chairperson. The board supports the centre director in determining the overall vision and strategic direction for the organisation.

“I have seen enormous change across industry over the 20 years I have been working in this space, and the speed of this change is only accelerating,” Riordan added.

“With the utilisation of data as a response to the pandemic and the related boom in digital, there is an increasing realisation that data, analytics and artificial intelligence is at the heart of these changes,” she said, adding that CeADAR is “perfectly placed to play a pivotal role in this changing world, in terms of supporting enterprises to achieve sustainable competitive advantage through applied AI, machine learning and data analytics.”

CeADAR director Edward McDonnell said Riordan has brought “energy, enthusiasm and practical perspectives” to the industry steering board since she joined three years ago.

“CeADAR actively pursues diversity in its workforce and we are delighted that such a high-calibre individual as Bronagh will chair the board and be such a positive role model for everyone,” he concluded.

Updated, 1.44pm, 7 March 2022: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Bronagh Riordan would be taking over from Edward McDonnell. 

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com