Aylward awarded NCI 30% Club scholarship

Deirdre Aylward
Deirdre Aylward

30% Club works to achieve gender balance at all levels in business



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18 December 2020 | 0

Deirdre Aylward has been awarded the National College of Ireland (NCI) 30% Club scholarship. Aylward will begin her progress to Level 9 with a Higher Diploma conversion course, which NCI has also awarded her, to set her on a technical path.

The scholarship was designed to help bring more women to a senior level in STEM, this year’s scholarship was awarded to

“We were very impressed with Deirdre’s personal statement, which showed commitment, ambition and genuine interest in the area of analytics,” said Dr Pramod Pathak, dean of NCI’s School of Computing. “However, there was a technical gap in her qualifications and experience and, if it were not bridged, she could never pursue a technical masters in the area of analytics. We are delighted that she has accepted our offer to first do a higher diploma in data analytics, which will provide her with the programming and statistics knowledge that she needs to progress.”




Aylward brings an honours degree in business, and work experience as a data analyst in Accenture to this next stage of her academic and working life.

“I realise that, in order to develop my full potential, I need to improve my technical skills, especially in the area of data analytics,” said Aylward. “I believe that what I learn in this field will give me a cutting edge I can combine my other areas of strength and creativity, to bring me to a whole new level in my career. I am really excited to have this fantastic opportunity to work in an ambitious and forward-looking area of study thanks to NCI and the 30% Club. It’s like winning the lotto!”

“The 30% Club works to achieve gender balance at all levels in business,” said Carol Andrews, founder and lead of the Irish chapter of the 30% Club. “Graduate management education and executive programmes act as important accelerators to career development and ultimately to senior leadership roles. We are delighted to develop these partnerships to actively encourage women to consider executive education as a way to help them realise their full potential. Partnering with NCI provides a scholarship opportunity for a woman to progress to a higher level of expertise and influence within the field of technology”.

Dr Pathak added: “That Deirdre is willing to invest this extra time and work to achieve her final goal is a testament to her drive and determination. She is exactly the kind of candidate deserving of a 30% Club Scholarship and will be an asset to the technology sector.”

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