Athena programme

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The results of our 2013 survey with the HSJ confirmed what we already knew: that support for leadership development is key to enabling more female leaders to progress. Three years later, women globally are are still under-represented across all sectors in senior leadership levels.

Who is it for?

Athena programme

While The King's Fund has a particular focus on supporting those involved in delivering health and care, we also appreciate the powerful contribution that diverse opinions and experiences can bring to leadership development. Therefore, in addition to applicants from the NHS, the private health care sector and social services, we welcome applicants from other public sector areas – such as police and prison services, education, housing services and the civil service – as well as encouraging applications from the voluntary and community sectors.

If you are a woman working at a senior level in your organisation and are passionate about, and committed to, improving your own performance, and that of your team and your organisation, then this programme is for you.

It helped build confidence in me and provided me with a sense of “can do”. When going through crisis, I am able to reflect on my time in Athena and it gives me a sense of inner strength and helps me solve problems. My management team have told me that I have improved my ability to communicate a clear and measurable vision which is always hard for me.
Head of Nursing

In this recent article, programme director Susie Perks-Baker discusses how the programme has continued to evolve to meet the needs of today's women leaders.

Introductory session

We will be hosting a free introductory session for anyone interested in joining the programme. It will take place on 18 September 2017 at The King's Fund. To find out more and reserve a place, please book here.

Programme aims

  • To examine and articulate current work experience with reference to purpose (of person, role, organisation), systems, contexts and boundaries.
  • To explore so-called ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ dimensions of leadership.
  • To grasp opportunities to find, make and take up organisational roles more effectively, thus providing better leadership. 

  • To transform your contribution to achieving the aims of the organisation and sector.
When you are in management you can focus on the mechanics of it. Athena helps you to think more intuitively.
Director of Operations

How will you and your organisation benefit from this programme?

  • Improved personal and organisational performance.
  • Increased confidence, personal authority and presence.
  • A greater awareness of personal impact and effectiveness.
  • Increased emotional and political literacy.
  • A greater range of creative responses to challenging situations.
  • Increased leadership competence linked to corporate goals.

What will you do on this programme?

The programme is grounded in leadership theory and participants will also be encouraged to engage with current thinking and literature around leadership with, where appropriate, a specific focus on health and care. We will also examine historical and contemporary studies of women in leadership roles. The programme is highly experiential, taking a critical as well as reflective stance in terms of women, leadership and society.

Each of the four three-day modules looks at various aspects of leadership discourse and is supported by coaching, peer-to-peer support, reflective learning journals and action learning sets, in which participants will work on a live issue in their role. All participants will have access to online learning resources.

Pre-assessment

Before coming together as a group we ask you to complete a leadership assessment questionnaire. This will inform the individual, role-based, coaching that you will receive throughout the programme.

The modules

  • Module one is based at Launde Abbey, Leicestershire, and the group take part in an immersive experience designed to explore your understanding of yourself and your role. This module is residential (two nights).
  • Module two builds on this work and encourages participants to consider their role within the system in which they work.
  • Module three builds further and encourages participants to focus on role in context.
  • Module four brings all elements together and considers the idea of connectivity to source, ie, purpose, values, and beliefs in relation to person, system and context, in more depth.

This year, for the first time we intend to run an additional optional module/overseas elective (self-funded) in Uganda.

Programme team

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Susie Perks-Baker

Senior consultant, Leadership and organisational development

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Patricia Boyle

Senior consultant, Leadership and organisational development

Rebekah O'Rourke

Leadership associate

Find out more and apply

Your details
Your role
Further information and booking