Capgemini: Women in Rugby Scholar, Rowena Davenport

 October 24, 2022

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Capgemini advocates for inclusive leadership. As Global Partner of Women in Rugby and Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup, Capgemini is committed to supporting female leaders to transform the game of rugby.

Capgemini celebrates transformational leaders with a series of stories sharing insights and experiences from inspiring women within its business and from the Women in Rugby program.

Rowena Davenport is a Director of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union and a Capgemini Women in Rugby Scholar. She is a figurehead for progress and transformation in Women’s Rugby, and is paving the way for a more diverse vision of the future. As one of Capgemini's Women in Rugby Scholars, the company is spotlighting her contribution to the game.

Find out more about Rowena's story - from rugby player to becoming the first female Chair of a major provincial union in New Zealand - and the transformational work she is forging for the game.

Female leader paving the way for a diverse future

Rowena was looking for a governance opportunity to give back to her community. Then, an opportunity with Otago Rugby came up. "Of course, rugby," thought Rowena.

Rowena grew up in and around a rugby club and enjoyed being at the heart of her community. She had a week out playing rugby and really enjoyed the experience. "So when a Director role with the Otago Rugby Union came up, it actually became a no-brainer instantly. When I actually applied, I missed out as well. So I wasn't discouraged, and I applied again a year later, and that's when I was successful," says Rowena.

Empowering women in leadership positions

Rowena explains that she has mixed feelings about the blazer that she wears in her role.

"Growing up, there was only one kind of person that would wear this blazer and for me, on one hand, it represents a lot of the barriers, it's quite a patriarchal symbol. On the other hand, this particular blazer is mine, and if people see me wearing it, me at the table, demonstrating what's possible, and the opportunities for other people like me, that's the other side of the coin where I think it's quite positive," Rowena comments.

"Diversity on boards and in leadership roles is meaningless if we don't embrace our differences. In my mind it doesn't matter how you get there, it's how you contribute once you're there," concludes Rowena.

Employer supporting Women in Rugby Leadership program

As a Global Partner of the Women in Rugby program, Capgemini supports the Women in Rugby Leadership program. This identifies and develops the current and next generation of female leaders in the world of rugby, enabling inspirational role models to fulfil their potential and create further parity across the game. Each year, 12 scholars are granted access to the best learning programs from the Capgemini University.

As a global leader in digital transformation, with over 350,000 employees in more than 50 countries, Capgemini is well positioned to bring its long-established expertise in taking top talent to the next level to the Women in Rugby Leadership program.

"We are deeply committed to promoting equal opportunities both in tech and in rugby, on and off the pitch. As part of our ESG commitments, we have set an ambitious objective to reach 30 per cent of women in executive leadership positions at Capgemini by 2025, and our University is a key tool for us to grow top female talent," says Capgemini Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, Virginie Regis.

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