World Rugby is delighted to launch an open application process for the Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Programme, with 25 scholarships to be awarded on the road to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025.

  • The search for 25 inspiring female leaders for the 2024/25 Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Programme is now on
  • The programme is creating a growing global network of female leaders and role models across the sport
  • Scholars will have access to personalised coaching and training sessions via Capgemini’s internal University to help their professional development
  • Seventy-three scholars have completed the programme since 2018

This week, World Rugby will begin the search to find 25 inspiring female leaders through the Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Programme which identifies and develops the next generation of female leaders. The programme enables them to fulfil their potential and drives gender equity across the game with the overall aim of increasing the number of women in key leadership positions within rugby.

Each year, 12 scholars are granted access to the best learning programmes from the Capgemini University with successful applicants matched with a mentor and eligible to apply for an additional discretionary grant of up to £5,000 to help aid their development. New for 2024, and to maximise the opportunities for trailblazers of the future in the countdown to Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, World Rugby will be seeking 25 leaders for 2025 which will enable the scholars to be supported over a longer period of time.

The bid to unearth the next generation of leaders will get underway on Thursday, 29 February when the application process for the next intake of scholars opens until 31 March.

Applicants must be actively involved with their national 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.

Any interested applicants can complete this application form, including a CV and a letter of endorsement from their union or regional association. Failure to submit a letter of endorsement will disqualify them from the process.

World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby Sally Horrox said: “As we embark on the journey towards Women’s Rugby World Cup 2025, we’re thrilled to launch the search for the next wave of female leaders to be part of the Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Programme.

“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. By promoting the programme and the application process more widely, we are fostering inclusivity and accessibility to fantastic resources, mentorship, and educational opportunities. We’re paving the way for these trailblazers to realise their full potential, driving gender equity, and growing opportunities for women in key positions in rugby.”

Since the Women in Rugby Leadership Programme was launched in 2018, a total of 73 scholarships have been awarded to female leaders from across the world. As part of the programme, scholars are given access to a range of opportunities through the Capgemini University, including leadership coaching and training sessions and Connected Manager, a Harvard Business certified programme.

As the programme continues to go from strength to strength, the first Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Summit was also held in 2023 at the Campus Serge Kampf Les Fontaines in Paris, France. The two-day event gave scholars an opportunity to come together, share best practice and build a support network.

Anne Lebel, Chief Human Resources Officer at Capgemini and Group Executive Board Member, said: “We look forward to this next phase in our collaboration with World Rugby to support the development of female leaders.

“Through the 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. We are proud to help empower female role models that can inspire other women and break biases.”

Zakia Kulabako, 2023 Women in Rugby Leadership Programme alumni, said: “Capgemini’s leadership programme has been the cornerstone of my professional growth in project management, guiding me through the dynamic landscape of challenges and opportunities with invaluable mentorship, robust skill-building and a culture of innovation.

“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.”

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