Welcome To Your Athena Journey!

Getting Started

This portal is a comprehensive resource for board service preparation and includes opportunities for connecting with the Athena community and applying for board opportunities.

When you dismiss this message, you will see your "Journey Dashboard." This dashboard is your roadmap for growth and has been specially designed to prepare you for board service.

You'll start with "Goal Setting and Journey Planning" with your mentor and then move into phase work. Please note that, although all phase resources are available to you at any time, we strongly suggest completing your current phase before moving on to the next.

If ever you get lost, simply click the "My Journey" button in the upper right-hand corner of the site to return to your Journey Dashboard. It is of the utmost importance to us that this portal provide you with all resources you need to reach your board goals. Please don't hesitate to reach out to coco@athenaalliance.org with any questions, concerns, or suggestions.

Thank you for being a member of The Athena Alliance. We look forward to the journey ahead!

Category

Announcements

The Athena Alliance Welcomes Nancy Sheppard, Founder of Women2Boards, to Our Leadership Team

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There is no shortage of qualified women for boards, but there is a need to connect these exceptional women to boards looking to fill an open seat. The current pace of change toward gender parity in the boardroom is 1% per year. At this rate parity for the largest companies will be achieved in 30 years, and for the smallest 50 or more.

The need for an organization that can scale to accelerate the pace of change has become increasingly apparent. We believe Athena is that organization! We expect to see significant expansion for the organization in 2017 through membership development, program sponsorships, and board opportunities. To accelerate our own scale and ability to drive change, Nancy Sheppard, who has expertly led Women2Boards with the same mission, is joining us. Her addition provides us with more resources to augment that expansion.

Nancy founded Women2Boards in late 2014 to provide matching services for smaller company boards. Women2Boards also assisted its members on their journey, providing 1:1 coaching and guidance as they explored board opportunities. Since its inception, the organization has served over 100 women nationwide, and has made more than 30 referrals of qualified women to boards and search firms.

Since Athena’s inception less than one year ago, we have connected women with 17 board opportunities at organizations of all sizes, from large public companies to late-stage private companies; there are more board opportunities on deck to be added this quarter. The organization has received more than $400,000 in donations, including major support from industry leaders Autodesk, Intuit and DLA Piper.

The Athena Alliance is not a recruiting firm and it is not a board training program. Rather, the organization serves as an extension of a board’s intimate network, introducing them to incredible executive women. At the same time, we are an essential part of a woman’s support structure, helping her overcome the ‘last mile’ barriers to board service and ensuring that she is prepared, such that when she is tapped for a board opportunity it’s hers if she wants it.

Nancy will join The Athena Alliance as a member of our Leadership Team with a focus on membership advisory services for women preparing to serve in board roles. She will also drive communications strategies and programs to advance Athena’s mission.

Nancy’s past experience includes 20+ years as CEO and director, Western Independent Bankers, founding board member for a bank services corporation, and trustee for a workers’ self-insurance group. She was a member of the leadership team at the California Bankers Association and spent several years on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. Her record of working in male-dominated environments has given her a passion to assist more women break through the boardroom ceiling. She was selected as one of the Most Influential Women in Business by the San Francisco Business Times. Because of her leadership in the board diversity movement, she was asked to chair the 2020 Women on Boards San Francisco, National Discussion on Board Diversity for the past two years.

I am delighted that Nancy is joining Athena and bringing with her the best practices and wisdom she has developed through Women2Boards. Her past experience, obvious passion for and dedication to helping women as they reach for a board seat will be an incredible asset to our program..

 

The Athena Alliance Secures Its First Champion-level Sponsorship from Autodesk

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The Athena Alliance is thrilled to announce our first Champion-level sponsorship from Autodesk, a global leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Autodesk’s generosity will enable The Athena Alliance to increase the visibility of executive women by diversifying their leadership opportunities through networking and corporate board matching.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend special thanks to Amy Bunszel, Autodesk’s Vice President of Digital Engineering Products and our champion at the company. “At Autodesk, we enable people to imagine, design and create a better world,” said Bunszel. “In pursuing this mission, we are committed to advancing diversity at all levels of leadership and are proud to support efforts to increase diversity in the boardroom.”

In addition to sponsoring The Athena Alliance, Autodesk also supports the advancement of women in technology through involvement with Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, YesWeCode and TechWomen.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend our sincerest thanks to Autodesk for their support.

If you or your company would like to sponsor The Athena Alliance in their mission to advance women’s leadership and visibility, please reach out to our CEO at coco@athenaalliance.org.

The Athena Alliance is now a 501c3 Nonprofit Organization

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Dear members, supporters, and friends,

The Athena Alliance has achieved many important goals in its first six months of operations – we have strengthened our network, expanded our community, and made our very first board match. Today, we are proud to announce one of our most exciting achievements to date – the approval of our application for federal tax-exempt status!

The approval of this status is especially meaningful for me as both an Athena board member and as an attorney at DLA Piper LLP, Athena’s pro bono counsel. Together with my colleagues in DLA Piper’s tax group, we prepared and filed Athena’s application for tax exempt status. This status, more commonly known as 501c3 status for the section of the federal tax code which establishes the exemption, will enable The Athena Alliance to more effectively pursue its mission of board gender parity. The benefits of 501c3 status to Athena, and many other nonprofits, may include:

Fundraising
Donations from individuals and corporations to a nonprofit with 501c3 tax exempt status are generally tax deductible for the donors, which often enhances fundraising efforts significantly.

Grant Funding
Most foundations require a nonprofit organization to have 501c3 status as a condition of eligibility for grant funding. Nonprofit organizations without 501c3 status may miss out on these funding opportunities.

Tax savings
A 501c3 organization is exempt from federal taxes on income derived from activities related to organization’s tax-exempt purpose. The organization may also be exempt from state income taxes, sales taxes, and employment tax in certain states. Every dollar in tax savings may be used to advance the organization’s mission, a valuable benefit for every nonprofit.

Other perks
Nonprofit organizations with 501c3 status may be entitled to various other perks, including discounted rates from vendors and suppliers, discounted postage rates, and lower media outlet rates for announcements and press releases.

Overall, 501c3 status is a game changer for The Athena Alliance and its mission. With tax-exempt status, Athena will be even more capable of creating change at the highest levels of leadership.

Ready to support gender parity in the boardroom? Donate to The Athena Alliance here.

Many thanks to my colleagues at DLA Piper for all of their contributions to The Athena Alliance.

Sincerely,
Debra Vernon
Attorney at DLA Piper & Board Member, The Athena Alliance

The Athena Alliance makes its first board match

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The Athena Alliance is proud to announce that FireEye CMO Kara Wilson has been appointed to the board of enterprise software company Jitterbit. Read the press release below to learn more.


Jitterbit Appoints Seasoned Marketing Executive Kara Wilson to Its Board of Directors

Current FireEye CMO Brings Deep Go-To-Market Expertise to Cloud Integration Leader

Alameda, Calif., June  13, 2016Jitterbit, the leading provider of fast, agile integration solutions for the modern enterprise, today announced that it has named Kara Wilson, a seasoned marketing executive with experience scaling enterprise technology companies, to its board of directors. Wilson has deep expertise building marketing teams and implementing go-to-market strategies and will leverage her experience to help Jitterbit expand its market presence and build visibility in the competitive integration market.

“Kara brings an impressive track record of marketing leadership that made her an ideal fit for our board as we continue our market expansion globally,” said Jitterbit CEO George Gallegos. “This hands-on background, coupled with her incredible team spirit and competitive drive, will give Jitterbit an edge as we continue to build upon our marketing strategies and execution.”

Wilson currently serves as chief marketing officer (CMO) at FireEye. She has previously held marketing leadership positions at a number of leading enterprise technology companies, including CMO of Okta, CMO of SAP Cloud, CMO of SuccessFactors, vice president of collaboration solutions marketing at Cisco Systems, CMO of Network General (acquired by NetScout) and vice president of marketing communications at PeopleSoft before its acquisition by Oracle.

“This is a critical and exciting time for the cloud integration market and Jitterbit’s differentiated product sets the company apart from the pack,” said Wilson. “Enterprises today are digitizing every aspect of their business, from the supply chain to the customer journey and everywhere in between. Jitterbit’s adaptive approach to cloud integration, putting the business analyst at the heart of connectivity, is a unique and compelling approach for today’s digital enterprise and I look forward to helping the team continue to tell their story to the market.”

Jitterbit consulted with The Athena Alliance on Wilson’s appointment to its board of directors, and her addition increases the total number of board members to five. KKR director Vincent Letteri was also added to the board in January as part of the Series B funding round led by his company.

About Jitterbit, Inc.
Jitterbit amplifies the value of enterprise applications with a modern, flexible and easy-to-use integration cloud platform. Designed for the technical business analyst, Jitterbit allows companies of all sizes to solve the challenges of application, data and business process integration between on-premise and cloud systems. Jitterbit’s graphical “clicks not code” approach and modern cloud platform accelerate and simplify the design, deployment and management of modern integration projects. Privately held, Jitterbit is headquartered in Alameda, CA. To learn more about Jitterbit’s application integrationdata integration and cloud integration solutions, visit www.jitterbit.com. To join the conversation, follow @Jitterbit on Twitter.

Media Contact:
Alyssa Marty
BOCA Communications
jitterbit@bocacommunications.com

Global law firm DLA Piper to represent The Athena Alliance

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The Athena Alliance is thrilled to announce that global law firm DLA Piper will graciously be contributing its pro-bono services as The Athena Alliance’s legal counsel. In addition to supporting our application for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status, DLA Piper will provide The Athena Alliance with ongoing assistance and advice regarding corporate governance and the fiduciary duties of board members, among other legal matters.

As a company, DLA Piper has made a strong commitment to pro bono work and stands behind it with a generous budget and a minimum annual requirement of pro bono work for each attorney at the firm. In aggregate, DLA Piper attorneys dedicate over 200,000 hours of time to pro bono work per year. Other benefactors of DLA Piper’s pro-bono work include fellow organizations increasing the presence of women in STEM, most notably Girls in Tech and LabGirls STEM Initiative, a nonprofit that encourages elementary school girls to build a lifelong interest in STEM subjects.

In March 2016, DLA Piper and The Athena Alliance marked the beginning of their relationship by co-sponsoring a panel discussion at the DLA Piper offices. Women executives provided insight into the board selection process and shared their experiences as members of the boards of public and private companies. The Athena Alliance looks forward to collaborating with DLA Piper to encourage many more important discussions like these.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend special thanks to Debra Vernon, an Athena Alliance board member and attorney at DLA Piper, whose support has been integral to the success of the partnership. With more than two decades of experience as a corporate and securities lawyer in Silicon Valley, Debra is an expert in venture financing, mergers and acquisitions, public offerings, and public company compliance. As our champion at DLA Piper, Debra will lead the team supporting The Athena Alliance, which also includes experts in tax, employment, and trademark law.

The Athena Alliance extends our sincerest appreciation to Debra Vernon and DLA Piper for their considerable generosity. We look forward to our continued collaboration in advancing the visibility of  women executives.

The Athena Alliance secures its first corporate sponsorship from Intuit

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The Athena Alliance is proud to announce that it has secured its first corporate sponsorship from Intuit. Intuit’s generosity will enable The Athena Alliance to increase the visibility of executive women and diversify their leadership opportunities through networking and corporate board matching.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend special thanks to Merline Saintil, Head of Operations (CTO and Product and Technology Office) at Intuit and our champion at the company. Says Merline, “at Intuit, we encourage employees to bring their whole selves to work. We celebrate diversity and value inclusion. The Athena Alliance’s vision of a world where women can contribute at their highest level of impact naturally aligns with our commitment of cultivating a talented, engaged and diverse workforce at all levels.”

As of July 2015, women represented 38 percent of Intuit’s global workforce and 33 percent of Intuit’s leadership roles. The company actively sponsors programs and opportunities to encourage women and ethnic minorities to pursue careers in STEM. Other benefactors of Intuit’s generosity include the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Girls Who Code, and Watermark, a community of executive women advocating for the advancement of women in the workforce.

The Athena Alliance wishes to extend our sincerest thanks to Intuit for their support.

If you or your company would like to sponsor The Athena Alliance in their mission to advance women’s leadership and visibility, please reach out to our CEO at coco@athenaalliance.org.