ATHENA® Licensed Programs

The ATHENA Leadership Award Program


The ATHENA Leadership Award was inspired by the goddess of Greek mythology known for her strength, courage, wisdom and enlightenment -- qualities embodied in the ATHENA Leadership Model. The Award is unique in both scope -- local, national and global -- and the ATHENA mission upon which it is based. The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented to a woman, or man, who is honored for professional excellence, community service and for actively assisting women in their attainment of professional excellence and leadership skills.

Since the program’s inception in 1982, more than 7,000 exemplary leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Award in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, Unite Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Leadership Award Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.

The ATHENA Leadership Award is presented annually by chambers of commerce, women’s organizations and universities. The award is established through local host organizations in partnership with ATHENA International’s national underwriters, local businesses and individual sponsors.

More info about The ATHENA Leadership Award Program

ATHENAPowerLink® Program

What is the ATHENAPowerlink® Program? Well, for starters, it is a business advisory program designed to increase the growth and profitability of women-owned businesses. Since 1999, the ATHENAPowerLink® Program has been helping women-owned businesses expand profitably through the use of professional advisory panels.

The proven mentoring process "links" a business with a board of advisors recruited from the local community. The board of advisors and business owner work together for one year to meet the specific objectives of the business owner. Business owners learn to network, access capital and implement best practices from these volunteer advisors.

The program began in 1992 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania when two businesswomen recognized that female entrepreneurs often lack access to valuable advisors and mentors. The premise was simple – panels of volunteers willing to advise women business owners on important issues could help them achieve greater success. Today, as ATHENAPowerLink® expands across the country, the program continues to help women grow their businesses.

According to a recent ATHENA study of women business owners and board of advisors who had participated in the APL program, the businesses showed an average increase of:

  • 88% increase in Sales

  • 37% increase in Business Net Income

  • 56% increase in Personal Net Income

  • 36% increase in the number of Full-time Employees

  • 75% increase in the number of Part-time Employees

More info about the ATHENA Powerlink® Program

ATHENA Connections

The ATHENA International College Leadership Initiative is designed to prepare college women for leadership in higher education and beyond. Ideal for use by university administrators and faculty in working with students, the ATHENA College Leadership Initiative engages and inspires young women to not only see themselves as leaders, but to gain skills necessary for successful leadership in the 21st Century.

More info about ATHENA Connections

ATHENA Leadership Forum

The inaugural ATHENA Leadership Forum was held in Akron and Cleveland in the fall of 2009 with established and emerging women leaders in attendance. Since then more events have been held. Find out how you can have a ATHENA Leadership Forum event in your city.

Communities across ATHENA International’s global footprint will host an ATHENA Leadership Forum event. In most cities it will be a lunch, though some communities may opt to host a leadership breakfast, dinner, etc.

While each event will have its own unique characteristics across participating communities, the premise and core essence of this program will be the same everywhere. Each event will encourage an established leader to invite an emerging leader to attend the event as their guest. Each event may have a brief speaker about the ATHENA International leadership principles, recognition of ATHENA Award Recipients, Nominees and sponsors, followed by a meal. The organizers of the event may choose to have the participants take part in group discussions where they share ideas on leadership styles and principles.

More info about ATHENA Leadership Forums

Global and National ATHENA Leadership Awards

In 1994, the ATHENA International Board of Directors established the Global ATHENA Leadership Award to be presented annually at the ATHENA International Leadership Summit and to honor women whose body of work has had a national or global impact. 

In 2012 ATHENA International partnered with local ATHENA Award Program communities to honor Global and National ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients at their celebrations, beginning with Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Phoenix, AZ (National Recipient) and Former University of Tennessee women's basketball Head Coach Pat Summitt in Nashville, TN (Global Recipient). 
Global and National Leadership Award Recipients are chosen based on the following criteria:

  • The individual has achieved the highest degree of professional excellence.

  • The individual has assisted women in reaching their potential.

  • The Individual's body of work has had a national or global impact

More info about Global & National ATHENA Leadership Awards


ATHENA NextGen is designed as a collaborative forum where participants enhance their professional development skills through a series of eight sessions focused on mentoring and leadership strategies, and are tailored to the next generation of women leaders. Discussion topics are facilitated by the established women leaders with the dialogue revolving around each of ATHENA’s eight leadership principles.

ATHENANextGen is designed for professional women in their late 20’s to early 40’s, although we are inclusive of ALL emerging women leaders, such as those rejoining the workforce, starting a new career, or starting a business of their own.


Coming soon!

ATHENA International Affiliate Program

The ATHENA® Affiliate Membership Program is a local community membership for women leaders that offers dual membership in ATHENA International.  The ATHENA® Affiliate Membership Program is designed to:
•    Offer a local membership program to connect established women leaders and/or emerging women leaders with each other
•    Provide expansive mentoring opportunities for emerging women leaders
•    Offer local programing for continued leadership development
•    Create Affiliates of ATHENA International all over the globe

More info about the ATHENA International Affiliate Program