A Message From The President

April 2012

As the Young Women of Promise luncheon draws near, I’ve found myself wondering about what Athena will look like in the future, what issues its members will confront, what actions or programs they will deem necessary or appropriate to respond to the demands of the day.

Change is inevitable, so how will Athena adapt to the shifting landscape and remain relevant to the women and the greater community of years to come? One of our core purposes (not to mention one of the things we do best) — networking — will help carry us forward so long as our relationship-building reaches beyond our contemporaries and friends. We must continue to reach out to women who are different from us because they are younger or their backgrounds or professions are under-represented in our ranks or their perspectives or methods challenge our assumptions. “New” or “different” does not always mean better but being open to the possibility and engaged in the conversation will enable Athena to boast currency and vitality.

Our other core purpose — promoting women through equality, acceptance, education and opportunity — also calls upon us to push beyond our comfort zones, consider new questions and conceive novel responses. At the risk of sounding cliche, our founders “pushed the envelope” and “broke glass ceilings” in the course of earning their credentials as true advocates for women. To remain relevant, Athena must be a thought leader and be prepared to be proactive when it comes to issues that confront women and their ability to achieve meaningful progress.

I firmly believe that our core purposes are still right on target. Further, our renewed focus on long range planning and the development of a first-rate website, among other other initiatives undertaken in recent years, has kept us on a path consistent with our organizational goals.

In light of these considerations, I’ve determined that I was contemplating the wrong question. Rather than what “will” Athena look like in the future, the better, more important question is what “should” Athena look like in the future. So long as that is the question we ask, Athena’s future is sure to be bright.