Athena programme

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Details of the next cohort of this programme will be available in Spring 2021. Please use the form below if you would like to be notified when these details are available.

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

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.

Find out more and apply