The ATHENA Award®
The internationally-recognized ATHENA Award® Program was founded in 1982 in Lansing, Michigan by ATHENA International Founder Martha Mertz. The award was originally established to honor the achievements of exceptional women leaders. And more importantly, it was established to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and business lives.
Since 1982, more than 6,700 top leaders in over 500 communities have received the prestigious ATHENA Award® in the United States, Bermuda, Canada, China, Greece, India, Russia, United Arab Emirates and United Kingdom. By honoring exceptional leaders, the ATHENA Award® Program seeks to inspire others to achieve excellence in their professional and personal lives.
The program was introduced to the Rochester community in 1987 by the Women's Council, a Rochester Business Alliance affiliate.
The ATHENA Award® recognizes women who:
- Demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession.
- Provide valuable service by contributing time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.
- Actively assist women in realizing their full leadership potential.
The ATHENA leadership model is a philosophy of leadership based on women's unique ways of knowing and leading. Developed by the ATHENA Foundation in collaboration through a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the model identifies eight district attributes or tenets that are reflective of women's contributions to leadership:
- AUTHENTIC SELF
- GIVING BACK
- COURAGEOUS ACTS
- FIERCE ADVOCACY
- CELEBRATION AND JOY
These personal traits have been shown to be more intuitive to women than men. They combine with the strongest aspects of traditional leadership—taking risks, assertiveness, hard work. And they prepare women to be successful leaders in the 21st century.
Nominations for the 2017 ATHENA Award® are now closed.