The ATHENA® Leadership Award Program

Supporting, Honoring and Developing Women Leaders

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 international---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.

Nominations are solicited and an ATHENA sculpture is awarded to an individual in the community who meets specific criteria listed below.

The ATHENA Leadership Award Criteria

ATHENA Leadership Award Recipients are individuals who:

  • Have achieved the highest level of professional excellence.
  • Contribute time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
  • Actively assist others, particularly women, in realizing their full leadership potential.

The Benefits
Involvement with the ATHENA Leadership Award Program benefits your organization and your community.

  • Your organization and community provide an environment where women’s accomplishments and contributions are valued.
  • Recognizing outstanding individuals in your community clearly defines role models for others to emulate.
  • Affiliation with an international network of women and men, who work together, to create leadership opportunities for women encourages the empowerment of women leaders.
  • Sizable attendance at award events by community and business leaders promotes positive relations and networking opportunities.
  • Substantial media coverage results in exposure for sponsoring businesses and organizations.
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To enhance your ATHENA Leadership Award Program consider adding the following awards:

The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award, established in 2007 to honor emerging leaders. There are no specific age qualifications, however as the name of the award would indicate, candidates should be at least college age and have embarked on their career path. It will be at the discretion of each participating community whether or not to determine a maximum age (35~40 for instance).

ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award Recipients are emerging leaders who: 

  • Demonstrates excellence, creativity, and initiative in their 
    business or profession.
  • Provides valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
  • Clearly serves as a role model for young women personally and professionally

The ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award, established in 2010 to honor organizations and businesses.

The business or organization: 
  • Creates an organizational culture that encourages women employees to achieve their full leadership potential
  • Gives back to the larger community of women and girls by providing and/ or supporting leadership development opportunities and initiatives

A license for this program is available to existing ATHENA Award communities that wish to participate. The  license includes the recognition piece and program materials. Contact us to learn more.

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