The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General, officially presided over the UK launch of Athena40 at an event last Wednesday night (30 May 2018) celebrating ‘The Era of Women’.
An audience of 130 movers and shakers from all over the world attended the launch, among them the UK Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Mr. Tobias Ellwood MP, Dr. and Mrs. Sanjeev Kanoria, Founder of Advinia Health Care, Jonathan Townsend, CEO Prince’s Trust International, Patrick Fleming, Director of Development British Library, philanthropist Rebecca Thomley, CEO Orion Associates USA, Christopher Gaunt, Chairman British Chamber of Commerce Turkey.
“Today I was absolutely determined to be with you, because what Athena40 is trying to do, I think it is of pivotal importance and I am pleased to see that there are both men and women in this audience, because it is going to take all of us,” said The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC, Commonwealth Secretary-General, during her keynote speech.
Baroness Scotland’s keynote was followed by a panel discussion on gender balance, which was moderated by Sarah Hall, President of CIPR and featured Elif Shafak, Author, Prof. Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE, Managing Director of ASAP, Elizabeth Filippouli, Founder & CEO of Global Thinkers Forum & Athena40, Justine Lutterodt FRSA, Director & Leadership Consultant at the Centre for Synchronous Leadership.
The evening also included an exclusive interview with 86-year-old renowned Egyptian writer and activist, Nawal El Saadawi.
“Athena40 aims to highlight the importance of fearlessness and inspire women to step outside their boundaries. We need to enable women to follow their dreams, challenge themselves and be trailblazers,” said Elizabeth Filippouli Athena40 Founder.
Launched by the Global Thinkers Forum London-based social purpose organization with Queen Rania Al Abdullah as its Founding Patron, Athena40 is the first ever global selection of 40 top forward-thinking, innovative women from across all industries and spectrums, published every two years. It was officially announced at UNESCO on International Women’s Day 2018.
The search is currently underway and the first round of ‘Athenas’ will be announced on March 8, 2020. Nominations through athena40.org