Capgemini and World Rugby expand female leadership program

08 March 2024 3 min. read

First established in 2018, Capgemini’s women’s leadership development program in partnership with World Rugby has expanded the number of places on offer ahead of the next Women’s Rugby World Cup.

Global technology consultancy Capgemini has opened applications for the next round of its Women in Rugby Leadership development program, with an expanded 25 scholarship places on offer in the lead up to the 2025 Women’s Rugby World Cup.

The initiative aims to empower the next generation of female leaders and create a visible global network of inspiring role models to help overcome biases within the sport and drive greater gender equity.

Capgemini and World Rugby expand female leadership program

The selected participants will be provided with a variety of development opportunities throughout the duration of the program, including being teamed up with a leadership coach from Capgemini and gaining access to top-level learning resources via Capgemini University. A leadership summit will also be held at Capgemini’s Les Fontaines Campus in Paris, while potential grants of up to £5,000 are available to support other professional endeavors.

“This important initiative, in partnership with Capgemini, is set to empower and elevate 25 remarkable female leaders who will shape the future of the sport,” stated Sally Horrox, World Rugby’s chief of women’s rugby. “By promoting the program and application process more widely, we are fostering inclusivity and accessibility to fantastic resources, mentorship, and educational opportunities to pave the way for these trailblazers to realise their full potential.”

To be eligible for the program, applicants need to be actively involved with their rugby union or regional association as a board member, member of staff or volunteer, have leadership aspirations, and be able to demonstrate their professional development plan in their application backed by a letter of endorsement from their organisation. Submissions close at the end of the month, with the scholarship recipients to be notified after the selection process.

“We look forward to this next phase in our collaboration with World Rugby to support the development of female leaders,” stated Capgemini’s chief human resources officer Anne Lebel. “Through Capgemini University, we are giving them the opportunity to build on their strengths and to keep growing. As a global services company people are at the heart of Capgemini’s capabilities, so we know how critical it is to support and nurture women’s leadership.”

To date, 73 scholars from all over the globe have completed the program since it was first launched in 2018, including representatives last year from as far afield as Burundi, Canada, the Philippines, India and Brazil. Also among the 2023 cohort was Faamoana Leilua, the Rugby Union Players Association player development manager for the Melbourne Rebels, who joined the Super Rugby club at the beginning of 2020 ahead of the challenging Covid period.

Another 2023 alum, Zakia Kulabako of Uganda, said the leadership program had guided her through the dynamic landscape of challenges and opportunities and provided the cornerstone for her growth in project management; “It's not just about mastering methodologies – it’s about fostering leadership excellence, empowering me to navigate complexities, inspire teams ,and drive impactful results that redefine success in the project management arena.”