3rd Athena40 Global Conversation

Women's Leadership in Times of Crises

Engaging high-impact women from around the world and marking International Women’s Day 2021

March 8, 2021 at 13.30 GMT

On International Women’s Day 2021, the international organisation Athena40 brought together for a third year, leading women from across eight countries participating in a synchronised online global conversation, debating live about women’s role as effective leaders in times of crises, but also local challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.​

Throughout 2020, a year unlike any other, women leaders in Asia, Europe and around the world have been recognised for their strong decisive action and empathy. 

Still, women account for fewer than 7% of the world’s leaders, 24% of politicians and fewer than 5% of Fortune 500 Chief Executive Officers.

Athena40 connected women leaders live from the USA, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa to discuss the virtues of women's leadership and how women can bring back trust, vision and accountability in a world that is so uncertain.​​

Launched by the London-based non-profit Global Thinkers Forum, Athena40 is a platform connecting and recognising women from around the world.

In 2018 at UNESCO in Paris it launched the first ever global list of some of the world’s most forward-thinking women nominated by the public and voted by a panel of 58 independent, international judges. Athena40 has been created as a platform to democratise recognition for women and bring to the spotlight grassroots women and women making an impact.

The speakers covered a variety of industries, ages, cultures and five continents. Among them: Margery Kraus, Founder & Executive Chairman APCO Worldwide, Mary Carlin Yates, Ambassador (ret.) of the U.S. Department of State, Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder of Athena40, Ivana Gažić, President of the Management Board of Zagreb Stock Exchange, Tsitsi Mutendi, Co-founder of African Family Firms, May Chidiac Former Minister & President of May Chidiac Foundation, Tram Anh Nguyen, Co-founder of the Centre for Finance, Technology & Entrepreneurship (CFTE), Leonor Stjepic, CEO of the Montessori Group, Diana Moukalled, Editor of Daraj Media, Hajara Kabeer, Founder of the Girl in STEM Initiative, Manoah Esipisu MBS High Commissioner of Kenya to the UK, Donica Pottie, Canadian Ambassador to Jordan, Doug Wills, Editor Emeritus Evening Standard and BBC’s World Tim Willcox.​

They all connected live from London to other panels in Zagreb, Amman, Beirut, Nairobi, Karachi, Lagos, Oregon and Irvine, California to get a sense of what challenges women need to overcome across different societies and cultures, but also to record calls to action.