Bursary Programme

Bursary Programme 2020

The second year of our Bursary programme offered six women complimentary places on our signature Boardroom Journey. We are grateful for the generous support of Boudicca from Equiniti  for our 2020 Bursary.

Bursary Programme 2021 Logo

The second year of our Bursary programme offered five women complimentary places on our signature Boardroom Journey. We are grateful for the generous support of Boudicca from Equiniti  for our 2020 Bursary.

We received well over 100 applications during March 2020 for our Bursary programme, despite Covid-19 restrictions coming into force.

The passion, determination and broad range of skills and experience among the applicants was truly 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 was awarded to Anna HegartyLinda OwenRituja RaoMonique 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.

Anna joined the board of Tenterden Mindfulness Group. As she develops this and the other elements of her portfolio, she remains open to adding another NED role.


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.

Linda secured four new non-executive positions during the Bursary period and continues to pursue a full public sector NED role.


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. She joined the board of innovative start-up charity, Being Woman, as a trustee.

photo credit: Elena Rossini


Monique Rebeiro

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.


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.