Bursary programme

The Women on Boards bursary programme - supporting more women into the boardroom.


Women on Boards exists to help women overcome the hurdles to contribute their skills and perspective as non-executive directors.

Our Bursary programme, in its second year, offers five women complimentary places on our signature Boardroom Journey. We are grateful for the generous support of Boudicca Proxy Consultants (part of Equiniti Group) for our 2020 Bursary.

We received well over 100 applications during March 2020 for our Bursary programme. The passion, determination and broad range of skills and experience amoung the applicants was truely impressive.

We selected just five successful applicants, and are grateful to specialist non-executive recruiters First Flight for contributing their perspective on our shortlist. 

The 2020 Bursary has been awarded to Anna HegartyLinda OwenRituja Rao; Monique Rebeiro and Lila Vazquez Villamor


Anna Hegarty

Anna is a chartered accountant whose last role was as CFO for HSBC Global Insurance, where she was the youngest person and one of only two women on the Executive Committee.

She stepped away in 2012 to manage a chronic health condition and has also been caring for her young child. Anna is now keen to return from this career break to make use of her professional skills. She is targeting NED roles to combine the intellectual challenge she desires with the flexibility she needs.


Linda Owen

Linda began her career in secondary education but moved to seek more family friendly roles following her two youngest children’s diagnosis with a genetic condition. She is now an information specialist in the voluntary sector focused on disabled children and their families.

Linda has experience on multiple Ministry of Justice and NHS appeal panels. She would like to progress this experience to a non-executive role as she feels she has the skills to make a real difference through this route. 


Monique Rebeiro Monique-Rebeiro.jpg

Monique is a successful entrepreneur. She was co-founder and partner of a fashion and retail brand for two decades, working across multiple aspects of the company. In 2007, she used her business skills to start an important youth crime charity, Lives Not Knives.

As CEO of this registered charity, she worked with various public sector bodies and advised on several local and national boards. She now wishes to bring her broad set of skills and experience to non-executive roles.    ​


Rituja Rao

Rituja is a Digital Transformation and IT Implementation consultant. Early in her career, she is extremely driven and has progressed rapidly to lead a range of projects. Rituja uses skills from her studies in journalism as a tech blogger and speaker and was shortlisted for the ‘Digital Hero of the Year’ award.

Rituja is keen to understand more about the boardroom and believes her combination of communication skills and tech expertise will enable her to make a strong contribution as a NED.

photo credit: Elena Rossini

Lila Vazquez Villamor

Lila is a Graduate Engineer at SSE Renewables, with a clear aim to become a leader in the transition to a net-zero carbon future. At SSE, she has built on her academic expertise by developing engineering and project management experience across multiple teams.

Lila is also part of several Advisory and Working groups, both internally at SSE and industry-wide, including one she currently chairs. She is keen to explore non-executive roles to grow her leadership skills and contribute her specialist and project development knowledge, coupled with a fresh perspective.


More about Women on Boards Bursary programme

2020 is the second year Women on Boards has offered a bursary programme. Find out about the 2019 Bursary programme here. 

A Women on Boards bursary comprises one year's full membership of our network, places at our signature events to expand your knowledge and connections, plus our unique support with developing your Board CV and preparing for board interviews. Our bursaries are for women who could not otherwise afford our support and are not currently on a board - but would like to be!

Check back in early 2021 for any future Bursary opportunities, or join us for free (Basic Membership) to be among the first to know. 


The Women on Boards bursary programme 2020 is generously supported by 


"Equiniti has a strong pedigree of appointing women to the Board and senior positions of leadership within the Company , and we’re proud to be part of a programme that aims to support women in contributing their talents at NED level."

Boudicca is part of the Equiniti group of companies and is a specialist shareholder engagement company. A leader in the growing arena of investor communications, and based in London, Boudicca works to secure maximised proxy voting and participation in shareholder meetings and corporate transactions. Boudicca has worked on over 600 AGMs, EGMs and M&A transactions for clients in the UK, Europe, North America and crossborder since inception ‐ including some of the most complex proxy voting cases and corporate transactions ‐ and delivers a high rate of success.
Find out more about Boudicca



We are also grateful to First Flight Non-Executive for offering their perspective on our shortlisted candidates. 


>> More information about the 2020 Bursary programme here.

>> More information about the 2019 Bursary programme here.