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Athena Academy Launches New Pilot Program at Qualcomm to Help Women in STEM Master Soft Skills

Updated: Jul 14, 2020

Qualcomm is bringing Athena’s Leadership Academy to its virtual campus beginning June 25 as part of its long term commitment to employee engagement and women’s career development.

This 3-part workshop provides soft skills training and is led by Dr. Alessandra Wall, Athena’s resident clinical psychologist. The participants can expect to access the practical tools and operational strategies for accessing 1) social capital 2) leading collaboratively, 3) self-advocating and 4) establishing allies.

“For those eager to close the gap between your career progress and your career potential by mastering those invaluable soft skills, Athena’s Leadership Academy is now available for companies intent on raising the talent bar,” Athena CEO Holly Smithson said.

“The Athena Leadership Academy supports the transition for STEM professionals that realize career advancement requires much more than academic knowledge obtained through higher learning institutions,” Smithson explains. “It requires self-awareness and an investment of time to identify and acquire key professional skills essential to advancing your leadership development.”

Soft skills are personal competencies that improve human performance, facilitate effective interactions, complement the technical requirements necessary to create impact in the workplace and scale your career objectives. 

Dr. Wall is a licensed clinical psychologist and leadership coach specializing in helping women secure the careers and success they deserve.  

She received her Bachelor of Arts in psychology (Cum Laude) from Duke University and her Doctorate of Philosophy in clinical psychology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She is licensed by and in good standing with the California Board of Psychology. She is a co-founder and former board chair of Empower Charter School.

If your company is interested in the continued development of women in STEM through the Athena Leadership Academy, contact Holly Smithson at


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