Capgemini and World Rugby champion gender parity in rugby

Capgemini and World Rugby champion gender parity in rugby

 May 02, 2023

 Read time

Capgemini and World Rugby have announced the 12 inspiring women who will join the Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Program in 2023, reaffirming the company's commitment to championing female leaders and forging gender equality across the game.

The 12 latest scholars, two from each of World Rugby’s six regional associations, hail from Australia, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Colombia, Georgia, India, Italy, the Philippines, St Lucia, Tonga and Uganda.

Accelerating the growth of female leaders in rugby

The program launched in 2018 and has proven transformational in identifying and developing the current and next generation of female leaders in rugby. The program helps women fulfil their potential by supporting their personal and professional development, with the overall aim to increase the number of women in key positions within unions and regional associations.

Driving global diversity, particularly in leadership, is a core component of World Rugby’s accelerating the global development of women in rugby 2021-25 strategic plan. By creating a pipeline of female leaders in rugby, the leadership program is advancing parity and ensuring greater opportunities for women at all levels of the game.

A Global Partner of World Rugby’s Women in Rugby program and a global leader in business and technology transformation, Capgemini plays an active role in World Rugby’s strategic plan to help accelerate the development of the women’s game.

Capgemini brings its expertise to the program for a second year as part of its transformative partnership with World Rugby, which also includes its role as a Worldwide Partner of Rugby World Cup 2025 and Global Partner of WXV, the new international women’s competition set to take the game to new heights when it launches later this year.

As well as receiving funding to help with their professional development, this year’s participants also benefit from upskilling through Capgemini’s internal University where they will experience personalized coaching sessions and access to leadership masterclasses as well as hundreds of online training sessions. With 360,000 employees in 50 countries, and an objective to reach 30 per cent of women at the top of the organization by 2025, Capgemini is well positioned to offer its well-established expertise in taking top talent to the next level.

Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Program: the class of 2023

The 2023 Capgemini Women in Rugby leadership scholars are: Angella Camille “Acee” San Juan (Philippines), Beatriz Futuro Muhlbauer (Brazil), Faamoana Leilua (Australia), Giuliana Campanella (Italy), Maria Samson (Canada), Marie Stella Gakima (Burundi), Natalie Kurtanidze (Georgia), Nicole Acevedo Tanguerife (Colombia), Sanaya Mehta (India), Dr. ‘Unaloto Sili (Tonga), Zakia Kulabako (Uganda) and Zhenya Allain (St Lucia).

World Rugby Chief of Women’s Rugby Sally Horrox said: “We are delighted to announce the newest scholars for the Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Program. We are committed to developing inspirational leadership on and off the field as part of our women’s strategic plan. This program is a key part of that strategy and continues to play a crucial role in successfully accelerating women leaders in rugby and ensuring women are represented at all levels and in all aspects of the game. Through Capgemini’s enhanced leadership program, our 2023 scholars will benefit from unrivalled training and coaching opportunities that will develop the skills and knowledge they need to enhance their leadership journeys. This will positively impact future generations of women in rugby and in the game as a whole.”

Anne Lebel, Chief Human Resources Officer at Capgemini and Group Executive Board Member commented: “Capgemini is deeply committed to promoting and enabling equal opportunities for women and men both in tech and in rugby, on and off the pitch. We have helped thousands of women in our teams rise to the next level in the business sphere through our internal University, and it’s only logical to offer this opportunity to the 2023 scholars of the Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Program, to support the development of the women’s game. The feedback from the 2022 scholars and our teams on the coaching and training experiences in 2022 have been very inspiring and only encourages us to do more this year.”

Accelerating gender parity across the game

The Capgemini Women in Rugby Leadership Program is creating a growing global network of women leaders and role models across the sport. Sixty-one women have so far benefitted directly from the program, going on to fill governance roles at a local, national and regional level, and passing on their knowledge and experience to those that follow.

One such past recipient is Rowena Davenport, a scholar in 2022, who has since been appointed to the New Zealand Rugby Board and is also chair of the Rugby Athletes Commission. Others include World Rugby Council member, Ada Milby, who was part of the inaugural Scholarship program in 2018, and Maha Zaoui, who was appointed Women’s Rugby Manager at Rugby Africa two years after completing the program.

Scholar Marjorie Enya’s career has also soared, becoming a Confederação Brasileira de Rugby Board member, representing Sudamérica Rugby on the World Rugby Council and current chair of World Rugby’s Regional Committee. In Europe, 2021 recipient Rebecca Davies created history when she was co-opted onto the Rugby Football Union Council, and has also recently returned to the pitch as a referee. Former Canada international and 2018 recipient Dr Araba Chintoh is now chair of the Rugby Athlete’s Commission and chair of World Rugby’s Women’s Player Welfare Steering Group.   

A major supporter of rugby globally, Capgemini has a historic connection with the sport and a deep heritage in rugby sponsorship. Capgemini is the first Worldwide Partner to sponsor both World Rugby and most of its major men’s (Rugby World Cup 2023) and women’s international competitions (Rugby World Cup 2021, playing in 2022, and Rugby World Cup 2025), as well as the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.  

About World Rugby

World Rugby is an international federation and a global movement comprising more than 500 million fans and eight million players within 133 national member federations affiliated through six regional associations. World Rugby’s purpose is to grow rugby by making it more relevant and accessible, with a vision of a global sport for all, true to its values. The driving force behind the sport’s significant growth has been World Rugby’s portfolio of major events, from the flagship men’s and women’s Rugby World Cups to the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, showcasing the Olympic version of the sport.

The financial success of the men’s Rugby World Cup enables World Rugby to invest record sums in the development and growth of the sport from the playground to the podium, ensuring that the sport is as accessible and enjoyable for as many people as possible. Between 2020-23, the international federation will invest more than £565 million in the sport, representing a 22 per cent uplift on the previous four-year business cycle.

Help drive gender parity in sport at Capgemini 

Capgemini is passionate about gender equality in and out of the workplace. 

Enjoy an exciting career with this progressive company. 

Discover Capgemini's latest job vacancies


Search jobs

Stay connected by subscribing to our monthly newsletter and following us on LinkedIn, X, Instagram and Facebook.

Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.


Join our women's careers community