The 4th Athena40 Global Conversation

The 4th Athena40 Global Conversation

“Women as Catalysts for Resilience, Diversity & Change”

on International Women’s Day 2022 | March 8, 13.30 GMT

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, women in corporate positions, but also as entrepreneurs, journalists, politicians, civil society leaders, artists or stay-at-home moms are even more burned out; increasingly more so than men. Despite this, women leaders are stepping up to support our societies, from employee well-being to diversity, equity, inclusion. However, three in four working mothers report discrimination in the workplace; 54,000 a year lose their jobs because of having a baby; and, perhaps more surprisingly, periods spent in part-time work lead to nearly no pay progression. We need women the world over to step-up and drive the great reset across trades, industries and societies, while at the same time they nurture resilience, inner stability and mental balance in themselves and others.

Are we expecting the impossible?

In the words of Princess Sumaya of Jordan, President, Royal Scientific Society Jordan, keynote speaker at the 3rd Global Conversation: “Together, we must all choose to challenge a status quo that deprives girls and women of an equal stake in our shared future. The Covid 19 pandemic has forced our world to pause and has challenged all of us to consider how we live”.

Athena40 in partnership with the Conduit Club is delighted to announce the 4th Athena40 Global Conversation to take place on International Women’s Day 2022, at 13.30 GMT. The theme focuses on women as drivers of resilience, diversity, and social change. Athena40 will connect live again leading women thinkers from the UK, the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa to discuss how resilience and diversity of thought can bring about a lasting positive effect. The multi-city event is organized in partnership with organisations that host individual gender-lens panels discussing an angle of their own choosing.

The London panel at the Conduit Club will feature: Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder of Athena40, Lin Yue, Executive Director Goldman Sachs, Grace Moronfolu MBE, Chair of the National Black Crown Prosecution Association, Crown Prosecution Service, and Regan Ralph – Founding President of Witness. The gathering will become a conduit for a wide range of insights on a variety of issues.

‘To me, feminism is about dignity. Dignity means being treated as equal, being respected for who you are, being listened to. Dignity is being able to define your own destiny, being free to make your life’s choices and free to celebrate them. It is an attitude of self-respect that finds its way into social, cultural and religious contexts’, writes Elizabeth Filippouli in her book ‘From Women to the World’.

The Athena40 Global Conversation is an initiative that shines a light on the variety of issues and challenges, highlighting reform needs in different societies and cultures. Launched by the London-based non-profit Global Thinkers Forum, Athena40 is an SDG 5 (Gender Equality) initiative.

Questions for this year include:

  • The continued lack of women in positions of power: How can we change this reality, what role can the media play towards this?
  • Bias in media coverage of women: Are men and women equally portrayed in the media? More importantly are genders displayed in a biased manner in the media?
  • What are some assumptions and biases that you have experienced as a female leader?
  • What do you think are the biggest challenges ahead, for the next generation of female leaders?
  • Sexism, racism, and economic inequality: How can we deconstruct the patriarchy and accelerate the pace of change?
  • Can women help our broken societies heal, how do we nurture activism in them, and how can we reinforce the concept of creative activism?
  • We’ve seen some backsliding in hard won gains for women in recent years. How has the rise in conservative movements (and rise in authoritarianism) impacted the fight for women’s rights and equality? How do we address the rise in conservative values and protect women’s rights? 

The photographic project ‘I am, You are: A pebble’ featuring 20 portraits of groundbreaking women will be presented at the Conduit Club as part of International Women’s month. The project is a collaboration between London-based German photographer Sebastian Boettcher and Elizabeth Filippouli, journalist, and editor of ‘From Women to the World' and it is inspired by the beautifully complex, and resilient nature of women.

Among the speakers in previous years: Elif Shafak; Nawal El Saadawi; Baroness Patricia Scotland QC; HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan;  Dame Stephanie Shirley; award-winning author, film director and LGBTQ rights activist Shamim Sharif; Entrepreneur & Author Annabel Karmel MBE; CNN Commentator Ayesha Hazarika; Economist & Author of ‘Women vs. Capitalism’, Vicky Pryce; RwandaHigh Commissioner to the UK, Yamina Karitanyi; Margery Kraus, Founder & Executive Chairman APCO Worldwide; Mary Carlin Yates, Ambassador (ret.) of the U.S. Department of State; May Chidiac, Former Minister & President of May Chidiac Foundation; Manoah Esipisu Kenya High Commissioner to the UK; BBC World presenter Tim Willcox; Athena40 Founder/Journalist Elizabeth Filippouli; Doug Wills, Editor Emeritus Evening Standard; Mpho Tutu Van Furth; MPs, Ambassadors and civil society leaders. All cities around the world connect live to the headlining panel in London creating a global conversation of wider impact and a special opportunity to raise awareness, develop new partnerships and access new networks.

Among the partners in 2022: The Conduit Club, Evening Standard, London Press Club, INJAZ Jordan, Arab Institute of Women Lebanon, Montessori Group UK, Department for International Trade UK UAE, Clean Start Kenya, Kenya High Commission to the UK, Ziauddin University Pakistan, Melissa Network Greece, Sharjah Museum Authority, NAMA Women’s Advancement Establishment.

More partners to be announced.