What is the Athena40 Initiative?

Athena40 was officially launched at UNESCO on International Women’s Day in March 2018. Athena40 discovers and acknowledges the work of some of the most innovative female thought leaders. Due to COVID-19, the 2020 list of finalists will be announced in 2021.


The Athena40 initiatives focus on strengthening the role of women worldwide and nurturing female leadership. Together with our partners, we create opportunities for women to be recognised, access new networks, connect to knowledge and build new partnerships. Athena40 recognises women who embrace entrepreneurial thinking regardless of their professional realm, expertise or aspirations.