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Athena40 - A Global Conversation on Women Across 4 Continents

An audience of 500 influencers across six countries and four continents participated in a synchronised global conversation March 6ththat had 45 speakers debating live just ahead of International Women’s’ Day, March 8th.
The conversation in London was hosted by the Evening Standard and saw BBC World’s Tim Willcox as global moderator, connecting live to the 5 other panels to get a sense of what progress has been made regarding women’s empowerment, where the major challenges and opportunities for women lie, who are the real change makers globally, and what can be done to promote diversity and inclusivity – collaboratively and internationally.

“As a CEO, I never felt I had reached the top… I just got on with the job. I could just do more, make changes. Trust yourself, use your intuition because your intuition will serve you well”, commented  Bridget McIntryre, one of the youngest female CEOs at a FTSE100 firm.
“Doing stand-up is scary… when they announce me, I have an out-of-body experience… and then you just have to do it, and it’s fine! Don’t let ‘the best’ be the enemy of ‘the good”, said Ayesha Hazarika, writer, broadcaster and stand-up comedian.

Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder & CEO of Athena40 said: “They say that it has never been a better time to be a woman. I agree…but then that is not the case for every woman, this is why we started the Athena40 movement to understand and engage women across all cultures, into empowering conversations”.

“If you’re not failing, you’re playing it too safe. To overcome failure. you probably learn more than when you’re successful”, said Annabel Karmel MBE, UK’s No 1 author of children’s recipes.

Doug Wills, Managing Editor of the Evening Standard opened the London event talking about the importance of having such conversations about gender equality. Among the audience worldwide was HRH Princess Eugenie of York; British artist and song writer Ellie Goulding; The Rt. Hon. Lord John Alderdice; Sangita Kanoria, Founder of Advinia Health Care; Geraldine Sharpe Newton, GTF Advisory Board Member and Athena40 Founder Member; Dr. Fawaz Zubi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Silicon Badia; Ciara Hurley-Stewart, Head of Retail Marketing and Partnerships, Asprey; Shada El Sharif, Director Jordan Investment Fund; Rebecca Thomley, CEO Orion Associates and Athena40 Founding Member; Sheila Gulati, MD Global Capital; Julie Goran, Partner,  McKinsey (NYC); Alexandra King, CNN (NYC); Katherine Berjoan, Liberty Mutual (NYC); Ruba Borno, Cisco Systems (NYC); Irina Sacha, Founder, Verizon Media (Athens); Dana Rawashdah, Metlife (Amman).

Launched by the Global Thinkers Forum, a London-based social purpose organization with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah as its Founding Patron, Athena40 is the first ever global ranking of the 40 top forward-thinking, innovative women from across all industries which will be published every two years. It was officially announced at UNESCO on International Women’s Day 2018.
The search for the first Athenas is currently underway and the results will be announced on March 8, 2020 with an international conference to take place in London on April 23rd, 2020.


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