Widen the bridge to advance one million women leading in STEM by 2030

Athena is a women's advocacy organization that fast tracks women in STEM through leadership development. By transforming scientists and technologists into corporate leaders, the goal is to widen the bridge and empower 1 million women in STEM, by 2030. Its 20+ year history of advancing women in a global STEM hub marks Athena as a premier women’s empowerment advocate. 
Founded in 1998, Athena members hold positions of senior executive, entrepreneur, and in academia from all sectors of STEM: life sciences, technology, healthcare, defense, engineering, as well as the associated service providers.


Athena's 2019-2020 Leadership Awards


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HISTORY | In 1998, no organization existed to support and develop executive women within the San Diego STEM community. They say necessity is the mother of invention, and Athena was born of pure necessity. In a time when a handful of remarkable executive women lacked support and knowledge inside male dominated industries, they came together and launched Athena. Twenty plus years later, the "Athena Effect" is stronger than ever. We stand proud at the forefront of Southern California innovation. Our members range from tech entrepreneurs to life sciences CEOs, all of whom benefit from the gold-standard leadership development.
  • 1998 | Athena San Diego launches as a women's networking group of members affiliated with UCSD CONNECT, San Diego's flagship entrepreneurial program.
  • 2001 | Athena San Diego becomes a stand-alone, member-based organization under the auspices of UCSD Extension and then UCSD/Rady School of Management.
  • 2001 | Athena San Diego Foundation established as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization to award merit-based scholarships to young women pursuing undergraduate education in sciences, technology, engineering, or math.
  • 2008 | Athena San Diego becomes an independently operated 501(c)(6) non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors.
  • 2017  | Athena San Diego removes San Diego from its name to reflect its regional impact and growth.
  • 2018 | Athena marks 20 years of delivering exclusive professional development and mentoring programs to women in STEM.
"The most invaluable benefit of Athena membership
is the power of our network. The opportunity to connect with a 
diverse group of professional women and learn from one another 
produces trusted business relationships and lasting friendships."  
- Barbara Bry, San Diego Councilmember (District 1), Athena Founder