WHAT SETS ATHENA APART
Several factors differentiate Athena from other women’s leadership development organizations:
Women In STEM Focused
Offer Both Executive & Aspiring Leaders Career-Level Services
Collaborator with the UN Global Compact: SDG5 | Gender Equality
Headquartered in Global STEM Hub
25 Year History
No National Affiliation
The most invaluable benefit of Athena membership is the enduring power of its network. The privilege to connect with a diverse and sophisticated group of professional STEM women and learn from one another produces trusted business relationships and priceless friendships."
San Diego Councilmember
Athena offers corporate partnerships to STEM companies and the service providers that support them to advance their diversity, equity, inclusion, and social impact objectives.
Athena offers individual memberships to STEM professionals accessing our suite of leadership development, mentorship, and global advocacy initiatives.
Athena's niche is in providing custom, purpose-built platforms with the latest leadership training offerings that allow members to advance their careers in STEM.
LEADERSHIP & TEAM
The Athena Team
Mission and History
Athena’s mission is to widen the bridge to advance
one million women leading in STEM by 2030
Athena is a global women's advocacy organization that fast-tracks women in STEM through leadership development, mentoring, and advocacy initiatives. By transforming scientists and technologists into corporate leaders, the goal is to widen the bridge to advance 1 million women in STEM by 2030. Its 25-year history of advancing women in a global STEM hub marks Athena as a premier women’s empowerment advocate. Founded in 1998, Athena members feature executives, aspiring leaders, entrepreneurs, and academia from all sectors of life sciences, technology, engineering, mathematics, healthcare, and defense, as well as the associated service providers.
In 1998, no women’s organization existed to support and develop executives leading inside San Diego’s STEM community. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and Athena was born of pure necessity. At a time when a handful of remarkable executive women lacked the social capital and market insights to effectively navigate inside these male-dominated industries, they converged with a clear vision and launched Athena. Over twenty years later, the "Athena Effect" is stronger than ever. While women are grossly underrepresented in the STEM economy, the Athena community is unwavering in its pursuit to deliver innovation through diversity. Athena members range from tech entrepreneurs to members of academia to life sciences CEOs, all of whom benefit from the gold-standard leadership development that Athena offers to STEM professionals.
Athena San Diego launches as an executive women's networking group to support female STEM executives; and affiliates with UC San Diego CONNECT, San Diego's flagship entrepreneurial program.
Athena San Diego Foundation is established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to award merit-based scholarships to young women pursuing undergraduate degrees in sciences, technology, engineering, and math.
Athena San Diego becomes a stand-alone, member-based organization initially under the auspices of UC San Diego Extension and then UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management.
Athena San Diego becomes an independent 501(c)(6) non-profit membership-based, business league, governed by a Board of Directors and dedicated to advancing the professional and leadership development of women in STEM.
Athena San Diego removes “San Diego” from its name reflecting its market expansion goals and aspirations to serve women beyond California.
Athena marks its 20-year milestone of advancing STEM women’s career and leadership development and announces new collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact.
During the United Nations 73rd General Assembly, Athena and the New York Academy of Sciences announce their partnership to launch the “Athena Assembly” in efforts to publish a data-driven “DEI playbook” to drive corporate performance through gender equality.
Athena announces the launch of its full-scale digital transformation in the midst of a global pandemic, providing a premier digital hub for women’s leadership journey, worldwide.
Athena launches its inaugural Male Allyship Committee. In furtherance of its DEI commitment, these essential diversity advocates address the roadblocks that male allies face in taking action, broadly promoting and disseminating these best practices and activating more male across the STEM economy.
In under 2 years of deploying its turn-key digital hub to give access to Athena’s portfolio of leadership content without boundaries, Athena reaches more than 135 countries, educating women and diversity advocates worldwide.
Athena commemorates its 25-years of powering women’s leadership journey by celebrating its global stakeholder community, its mission and diversity champions. The year-long celebration #IAMONEINAMILLION digitally showcases the success drivers of STEM women and companies enabling Athena’s mission of advancing 1 million women leading in STEM, by 2030.
Board Officers & Executive Committee
Board of Directors
ATHENA EMERITUS AND FOUNDING BOARD MEMBERS
We are grateful to the leaders and visionaries that enabled Athena’s 25 year impact in advancing professional women in STEM. Their collective insights and dedication drove the success in building a robust member portfolio serving STEM executives, managers, educators, entrepreneurs and service providers. We salute and honor these founding members for executing on a vision where the world views women’s contributions to innovation as a core strategic value.
Sara Wilensky Napoli
Linda Le Beau*
Sandra Louis Schmid
Donna Caley Leach*
Susan Ten Eyck Mallory*
*Founding Board Member