Below are 13 short letters from Athena Sisters (current participants of the Athena in Action leadership program) wrote to women who will be invited to participate in next year’s program. This is a small sample from the 100 women who have graduated from this program and taken the quality of their leadership at work & at home to the next level.
Dear Future Athena Sister,The shock you are in when you see the invitation to commit your personal time for 6-months, adding multiple activities to your schedule, while your busy professional and personal agendas cannot be anymore full….is overwhelming. And it is simply worth it! Take it! Do it! You’re worth it!
Dear Future Athena Sister,I never thought I would learn so much thru Athena in Action. This has definitely outperformed my expectations. What I like most about the program is the combination of theory with practical solutions. I also like the story telling piece. And of course, sharing examples of our learnings among the Athena Sisters. It is simply an amazing program! This is the most valuable program I have participated in the last 10 years at P&G. I am sure you will benefit from it greatly and love being an Athena Sister too!Fanny W.
To My Future Athena Sister,The Athena Journey has been like no other training or leadership course I have ever taken. It is mind-opening, soul affirming and inspiring in so many ways. It has taught me to be aware of my own vulnerabilities, behaviors, work styles, unconscious bias, etc. and to know that these also exist in others. Athena teaches you to recognize this and leverage leadership tools to manage through difficult situations both at work and in your personal life. Athena creates a safe sharing and learning environment with other P&G women, out of which camaraderie and sisterhood develops continually and throughout. These strong and successful women share their stories, experiences in a way that helps the group recognize and identify their own similar struggles, and enable discussions, connections and learning that all can reapply and benefit from. It’s well worth the investment—don’t miss the opportunity to be an Athena Sister!Heather R.
Dear Future Athena Sister,You are fortunate to have someone care about you enough to nominate you for this Sisterhood. This past 6-months have been a whirlwind of learning and growth for me. I’m glad I prioritized the Athena in Action sessions and myself so that I could be fully available for this journey. During this time, I’ve learned about myself. I had a chance to declare what I want to be known for, this took some soul-searching to crystallize what I wanted to be known for, for myself. I also learned tools and strategies to increase my impact and influence at work. I’m a better leader because of the Athena program. (And I know my Athena skills have helped at home too!) Finally, I’m now part of a powerful network/ Sisterhood, which will always be available to me as I continue in my P&G work and in my life. I hope that you will make the decision to join the Athena Sisterhood too,Chiquita W.
Dear Future Athena Sister,As I write this note to you, I want to tell you that you will be lucky to go through this journey with a set of amazing women, so make every moment count to engage and get to know yourself and your other Athena Sisters. To me, this is a personal journey of getting to know my strengths, my principles, and my equity. But most importantly what I should not compromise in my terms of what is important to me and what I am passionate about. This journey is not just about being successful at work, I actually learned a lot about how I can be better Mom, daughter, and wife. Now, coming back to why this important to us, as women of P&G. We need to continue to thrive and be successful. This is not ‘another women’s network of touchy-feeling’ sessions. Athena in Action will help you understand:
a)Your lens (you will hear a lot about this—listen!)
c)Your equity and what you stand for
d)Your enneagram: ‘why you do what you do’
e)Perspective from great women leaders in the company and ‘yes’! Men too!
f)How to build strong relationships of trust with women just like you—your Athena sisters
So, relax and enjoy each session!Vasanthi
Dear Future Athena Sister,You will transform and you will love it! I was one of the Sisters that did not want to take this class because I did not know what to expect. The journey has been worth it!
• A chance to connect and get to know other incredible women.
• Tools that allowed me to look at challenges/opportunities differently (i.e., to use your ‘lens’—unconscious bias—and how to confront it; and bring awareness of your personal equity and how it evolves to bring it to life, etc.)
• The power of the Sisterhood and the joy of sharing.
• Learning how to connect thru vulnerability.
• The art of powerful stories.
• The critical nature of just being present in the moment of every discussion.
Come prepared to be open, vulnerable, powerful, and always celebrating the power of women in the Athena Sisterhood!
Dear Future Athena Sister,Congratulations for being invited to participate in this amazing learning experience. This will be one of the most enriching experiences of your career. You will have the chance to share, learn, and connect with an amazing group of women who will remind you what we are all capable of, and the role we are playing in shaping the future of P&G. It’s a big commitment and investment of time and energy, but you will get rewarded for what you bring to the course. You will see life and work with a different lens and you will become an even stronger leader. I strongly encourage you to take this opportunity, to invest in yourself, and to be ‘all-in’ for every minute of the Athena in Action journey. Best wishesVictoria
Dear Future Athena Sister,I am a firm believer we are given gifts and opportunities at exactly the right time we need them. If you are reading this note, then you have an opportunity that’s been given to you. I encourage you to seriously consider making the investment in you! The Athena in Action journey was gift for me personally and professionally. Aside from meeting and developing close relationships with some amazing women at P&G, I’ve learned tools, techniques, and strategies to break down barriers, drive change effectively, to learn about my triggers, and how to effectively leverage my strengths and adjust my behaviors, and how to thrive as a woman at P&G and in my life. It’s an investment of your time. And there is homework. But I learned things I will carry with me forever. I also developed a terrific network of strong women that will last a lifetime. Good luck with your decision. I hope I get to call an Athena Sister.Carol T.
Dear Future Athena Sister,Relationships. Life is made full by relationship. Our careers are fostered by and through relationships. Athena in Action will help you discover more about yourself, how you tick, what makes another tock…. So that you can build those relationships. That will be the foundation of your future success. And Athena in Action will support you doing all of that. This program is worth the time, investment, and vulnerability…. You will grow. You will be grateful. You will be an awesome Athena Sister.Autumn
Dear Future Athena Sister,Life is very busy—yet the future could be so much better if you invest in yourself. I know for myself that it can feel wrong to take the time out of your busy schedule to actually pause and help yourself. I made the leap to join the Athena in Action program. It was a very good decision and the value was more than I can put into words. I really thought that I didn’t need this program. I was already a Director and overall, life was good. What I really didn’t understand is that I could bring so much more of ‘genuine’ self to P&G and this would be more impactful to driving change at P&G. The Athena journey starts a different conversation about who we are as women, what we can do to ‘shine,’ and how our strengths can be unleashed. It has opened my eyes to re-define my own personal equity and see new ways of how I can influence those around me. That feels really good and gives me hope for my future and the future of P&G. My hope is that you step forward and join the Athena program. It will change your life!Gabriella
Dear Future Athena Sister,I am sure, as you are reading this, you are saying
“I am too busy to dedicate 6 full days to this” or
“This is not the right time for me” or
“Work is just too busy—I can’t step away that much.”
I know that’s what I told myself.
However, I signed up and dedicated the time, and what I will tell you is that it is life-changing. You will learn new models and frameworks to be a better manager, you will learn about your own style and how you approach problems, you will come out a better leadership and be more centered. You will read mind-opening books, and will make some amazing relationships with other women leaders in other functions and business units; really—lasting friendships. Dedicate this time to re-invest in yourself, recharge your batteries, use this class to catapult your leadership. I promise you won’t regret it—invest in YOU!Amy A.
Dear Future Athena Sister,The time (and potential travel funds) commitment that is required to be part of the Athena in Action program is 100% worth it! The investment you make in the relationships you forge during this course will come back to you 10-fold. This was the most beneficial source of self-reflection, self-improvement, and tools for me to develop my organization. You will have a once-in-a-career opportunity to create relationships with your peers across functions! Which was the most unique aspects for me. P&G doesn’t provide any other real forum to create true connections with other senior woman across the company, and for that alone, it is time well-spent. I cherish the friendships I’ve made, the lessons I’ve learned about myself, the exposure I’ve had to our most senior executives via the monthly panel, and most of all, the dedicated time for deep, creative collaborative thought. SIGN UP. BRING YOURSELF FULLY TO ENJOY EACH SESSION.
Dear Future Athena Sister,Congratulations on starting this journey to become one of the few, the proud, an Athena in Action Sister. The insights and learnings I received during this course have been phenomenal! When I learned I would be participating, I struggled with the time commitment. I can honestly say it has been worth every minute. Taking this time to invest in myself to stretch my perspective, and take deliberate action to become a stronger leader in P&G and a better individual in general has been truly empowering. I encourage you to lean in and embrace the experience, you will not regret it. And keep in mind, you generally get out of something what you put into it. This is no exception. GO ALL-IN! It will make a difference in you making a difference.Natalie H.