Athena In Action September 18, 2018

Building an Ecosystem for the Modern Boardroom

By The Athena Alliance

Meet Our Latest Partners

We’re thrilled to announce that six additional organizations have partnered with Athena Alliance, making the commitment to helping their executive women lead at their highest levels of impact. Our new partners, LinkedIn, Gainsight, Okta, Workfront, Delphix and Costanoa Ventures, are investing in the development of their women VP- and C-suite leaders by sponsoring their participation in a custom-tailored Athena Alliance program. The program will increase their board savvy, prepare them for board engagement and, should they desire, board directorship.

These partners are making an investment in the executive development of their women. They’re also making an investment in the health, sustainability and future of their organizations and others, as many of these women may join the boards of public and private companies around the globe. Helping women refine their leadership abilities and lead at their highest level of impact is a critical missing piece at organizations of all sizes, and the data illustrates this point: women hold just 11 percent of board seats for companies under the $1 billion market cap (which account for 67 percent of NASDAQ companies and 24 percent of NYSE companies), and women hold only 9 percent of board seats for companies under the $500 million market cap. We need to make more progress, and it begins with investing in executive women.

By partnering with the Athena Alliance, these new partners are not only helping to lift their female leaders, but they’re leading the charge in making a potentially domino-like difference in boardrooms around the world. Every woman they sponsor may lead to another board, diversified. Every woman they sponsor may lead to an organization, more capable of radical innovation and more prepared to take on the competition. Imagine the possibilities; these six partners alone may open the doors to enabling dozens of boards to future-proof their companies for business in the modern era.

Athena: a launch pad for women, a catalyst for radical board transformation

Athena Alliance works with individual women, as well as public and private organizations of all sizes, to craft customized programs. Every program is personally tailored, as we work intimately with our female members on board readiness assessments, coaching sessions, workshops, and salons. We’re built to foster access (between the right executives and into the right boardrooms); to expand networks (to remarkable women leaders and one-of-a-kind opportunities); and to prepare the next generation of board directors (ones truly prepared to tackle today’s digital and global threats and opportunities).

Athena Alliance seeks to assist four main audiences:

  • Forward-Thinking Leaders (Grand Benefactors and CEO Champions): We work with leaders across a wide set of industries who have vested their personal time and interest into contributing to women leading at their highest levels of impact and developing an ecosystem of diverse boards.
  • Corporations: We help corporations nurture their top female talent.
  • Investors: We help venture capital firms create more effective, diverse boards across their set of portfolio companies. We expand their networks by providing access to a range of experienced, insightful female leaders. We empower the top women across their portfolio companies through our customized executive development programs.
  • Individual Women: We cultivate a network of experienced VP- and C-level female leadership. These women are aspiring directors or existing board members who are looking for their next position, or who can help mentor aspiring directors.

What our partners have to say


“The statistics speak for themselves: companies with diversity in leadership consistently outperform their peers. There’s no industry where diversity and representation are more important than the technology sector as the things we build have the power to reach everyone in the world. The Athena Alliance is a leader at helping to accelerate gender diversity in the boardroom, and at Okta we’re committed to working closely with Athena to champion our powerful, cross-functional female leaders – together taking one step closer to gender parity in the boardroom, and across our industry.”

– Kristina Johnson, Chief People Officer, Okta.


“Gainsight is deeply aligned with Athena Alliance’s mission to increase gender parity in the boardroom. We’re honored to take a role in creating more awareness around this critical issue, and we’re committed to making boardrooms more diverse.”

– Nick Mehta, CEO, Gainsight


 “We felt it was important to take explicit action that helps our companies move toward gender equality. Athena Alliance gave us a partner at the board, buyer, and leadership development levels, so we were excited by all the ways it can help our companies improve.”

– Greg Sands, Founding Partner, Costanoa Ventures


“Workfront is a pre-IPO company that may have the opportunity to become a public company in the future. Many times, when a venture-backed company evolves from being private to being public there are changes to the board structure. We want to begin to build relationships with talented individuals who may be interested in a board role with Workfront in the future.  

And, every time we work with an organization like the Athena Alliance we learn something, we grow, and we improve. What I am most excited about the partnership with Athena is the opportunity for Workfront to be a better Workfront.” 

– Alex Shootman – President & CEO, Workfront


Poised for growth

In addition to these partners, Intuit, Athena’s first corporate partner, has committed to expanding the relationship further offering this program to a wider range of their executive women. Also, Athena recently announced a new investor program partnership with TA Associates, a leading global growth private equity firm.

These partnerships mark a strong first half 2018 for our organization. We’re excited to set these women up for success as they begin their personal executive development journeys. We’ll be working with each, individually, to help them grow in our community and expand their own network to create meaningful, career-changing connections. And, we’re honored to work with these bold new partners to help them invest in their top leadership and champion diversity at the board level.

What a powerful start to 2018!