What is ATHENA Women’s Leadership Day?

•   An event for established women leaders to meet and coach emerging women leaders.

•   An established woman leader invites an emerging woman leader to join her for lunch (or breakfast, tea, or other gathering); she purchases a “ticket for 2”.

•   For example: 25 established women leaders may invite 25 emerging women leaders -- or more, providing an opportunity for established women leaders to introduce their guest to other women leaders.

•   The program is a 45 minute facilitated conversation about leadership development and mentoring opportunities.


Women’s Leadership Day Program License

·        You can begin to bring the celebration to your community and encourage women leaders, both emerging and experienced, to come together to discuss their experiences with leadership and develop their leadership skills. This program may be available to license for your community.

·        Once the $1,000 license fee is received by ATHENA International, a handbook and all program materials are provided for this turn-key event.




Benefits of the ATHENA Women’s Leadership Day Event

Through sharing experiences and building connections, women in leadership roles find this experience valuable, no matter if they are already an experienced woman leader or an emerging woman leader, the community overall is improved.

· connection between the established and emerging women leaders in a community

· emerging women leaders have opportunity for being mentored

· established women leaders hone mentoring skills and help the next generation of women leaders

· opportunity for Community fund raising for an important goal that helps women



· typically a host organization or the committee secures sponsors for their event

· the sponsor provides the funds for the ATHENA International license for Women’s Leadership Day.  The $1,000 fee could be paid by one sponsor, or perhaps $250 paid by four individual sponsors

· sponsors have their name/logo featured in all printed and web materials


Who should be the Host Organization?

•    A network of women, usually a women’s service organization

•    A women’s group in a church who wants to encourage leadership

•    A women’s leadership organization

•    A foundation

•    A group of women leaders


Requirements of the Host Organization

There are three simple duties of the host organization:

•    The host organization holds the ATHENA Women’s Leadership Day License

•    The host committee decides on the charity/organization/fund for the proceeds of the event

•    The host committee often has a mailing list of women to invite to the event


Charitable Fund Example

The host committee selects a charitable fund to donate the proceeds from the ATHENA Women’s Leadership Day event.

In Akron the proceeds were donated to the Judith A. Resnik Scholarship Fund, an affiliate of the Akron Community Foundation (ACF), a qualified 501(c)(3) organization. Judith Resnick was a woman astronaut who was aboard the Challenger in 1986. The scholarship is awarded each year to a woman studying math and/or science at a four-year college or university.



Frequently Asked Questions About ATHENA Women’s Leadership Day


Q.  We host an ATHENA Award celebration with scholarships in August and were thinking about doing both at the same time.  Would this work?

A.  We only offer this event as a stand-alone program.  The significance of the lunch is it’s focus on helping emerging leaders make valuable connections. 


Q.  We were thinking about hosting a panel discussion for the lunch program.  Would you recommend that?

A.   We do not recommend a presentation longer than 4 minutes.  The real program is the table discussion about leadership between the established and emerging women leaders.  A 4 minute keynote welcome works quite well.


Q.  How long does it take to plan and offer this event?

A.  We have developed a detailed checklist and schedule to make the event easy to implement. This event has been successfully planned by a community in 45 days or fewer.   ATHENA International provides all the templates you need, including the printed program template, so there’s no need to create or develop materials.  90 days is a comfortable planning period.


Q.  Our community already pays for a license for the ATHENA Award Program.  Do we need to secure and pay another license?

A.  Yes.  The two events and programs are separate.  This event was designed specifically to connect established and emerging women leaders.  Note the next question and answer.  This license lets you offer programming all year long – if the events connect established women leaders with emerging women leaders.  Starting with the luncheon and then offering quarterly receptions, after-hours or forums keeps the connections and mentoring going.


Q.  What is included in the ATHENA Women’s Leadership Day license?

A.  The fee for the annual ATHENA Women’s Leadership Day License is $1000 and includes:

•    License and rights to host an ATHENA Leadership Day event

•    Rights to continue offering events during the year as long as they are based on connecting established and emerging women leaders for the purpose of leadership development and mentoring opportunities.

•    Recognition in your community for women’s leadership development and mentoring opportunities.

•    Rights to use ATHENA Leadership Model Principles

•    Program Materials:  facilitator scripts, handbook, graphic files, promotional items and access to online resources, including all templates and samples you need for successful programming

•    Program/ Staff support from ATHENA International

•    Up to 100 sets of ATHENA Leadership Model Cards

•    Ongoing leadership news and correspondence from ATHENA Headquarters to your program participants


Q.  Who may offer this program?

A.  The program license is available to any organization or group of individuals wishing to host it.  We are finding that a group of recipients, or other women leaders, decide to offer the event in their city.  They might approach a local women’s organization to be the host and handle the license and the revenue for the event.  Or they handle those steps themselves.  Then they approach sponsors-license sponsors to  provide the $1,000 for the annual license.  They recruit a committee and plan the event in 30 – 45 days.


Q.  How do we get started?

A.  Simply contact Athena International Headquarters via email to Emily Harris at eharris@athenainternational.org  to request license information.  A comprehensive program kit will be available upon receipt of your license payment.


Q.  What about when an established woman leader wants to invite more emerging women leaders?

A.    Price your tickets to purchase 2, 3, 4 or 5.  Then she can bring several emerging women leaders as he guest.  But no tickets for one.


Q.   Last year we had a woman say that she could not find an emerging woman leader to bring.  How do you handle that?

A.   We have offered to find an emerging woman leader who would like very much to attend but has not been invited; we match them.



What participants are saying about ATHENA Women’s Leadership Day


From a Licensed Host organization’s perspective:

“This historic event is an opportunity to help future leaders with connections, support and mentoring. It is your way to help the future women leaders in your community. Just think how powerful this event will be with a room full of women, one-half established leaders and the other half emerging leaders”.

-Carrie Herman, President, Women’s Network, Akron, OH


From a Sponsor’s perspective:

“As one of four sponsors for the 2009 ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Day Lunch, we had the opportunity to be part of the inaugural pilot for a very important new program. In addition to the traditional media coverage and program recognition, we were honored at the lunch. But the most important part was providing support for women leaders, particularly the emerging women leaders.”   



From an Attendees’ perspective:

“The ATHENA International Women’s Leadership Day Luncheon was a perfect opportunity for the women of Indiana, Pennsylvania to interact with the many young women in our community who have shown interest in learning more about women’s leadership. Young women from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana Area High School and Indiana Area Junior High School actively participated in the roundtable discussions facilitated at the luncheon by ATHENA recipients. One tenet from the ATHENA Leadership Model was discussed at each table with a summary of the discussion provided by one of the young women before we adjourned. It was fun and inspiring for all who attended. We are looking forward to the next luncheon.”

-Ellen Ruddock, 1987 Indiana, PA ATHENA Award Recipient



From another Attendees’ perspective:

“It was a great opportunity to meet in person so many of the female leaders that I have previously only read about in the Beacon or heard about from my mom. The frequent references to 25 years of friendship and leadership with the other women in the room was powerful and set me thinking about how the relationships I am developing with other ‘established’ and ’emerging’ leaders will evolve and how they will impact our community. Thank you for thinking of me and giving me the opportunity to learn from you and the other leaders in our community.”

- ATHENA Akron event attendee