What is a key connection?

Athena is a community of the top women in business. One of the best things about our community is that our women sincerely want to help other women advance.

You may request a connection to another member for many reasons (below) or for just in time advice such as help preparing for an interview or navigating a specific challenge. We call these "key connections", and they are available to any member at no additional cost.

Here are some types of connections you might look for:

  • Mentoring: Connect with a senior leader, experienced board director, or someone with particular insights for career advice, interview preparation, guidance through a transition or as you onboard to a new role, help navigating a challenge, or investor insights.

  • Peer-to-Peer Exchange: Connect with peers to expand your network and discuss, compare, and explore challenges and best practices related to your roles, organizations, industries, geographic location, markets, etc.

  • Thought leadership: Connect with a thought leader on a topic you'd like to explore - learn more, validate your position, expand your ideas, or simply discuss a passion.

  • Business Development: Connect with potential collaborators in the interest of advancing your business, or theirs.

  • Networking for Opportunities: Build connections with others at relevant organizations or within industries you wish to join.

  • Voice of the Customer: Connect with someone who represents the perspective of your audience, target market, or investors.

How do I find a key connection within Athena?

You may use the Find & Connect tool to search for members and request to connect with them. Searches are based on the information members have included on their member profiles (primarily the Background & Experience section). The filters can help you drill down to members with the specific leadership and professional experience relevant to your needs. Consider things like what type of role or company background would this connection have? Would they have specific scaling, committee, or board experience?

Request to Connect

Once you've found a member you'd like to connect with in Find & Connect, click the 'Request to Connect' button found next to their photo on their profile.

You'll be asked to provide a brief note with the reason you'd like to connect - what are you hoping to ask this member or learn more about? Your request will then be sent to the member via email and, if they accept, each member will receive a confirmation email displaying both members’ email addresses to start a conversation. Additionally, the Contact Details on both member profiles will now be unlocked.

Once you're connected, your communications with that member leaves Athena's site and you may continue through the medium of your choice (email, LinkedIn, etc.).

What's the difference between Key Connections and Coaching?

Key Connections

Key connections are connections between Athena members, and can be requested for any number of reasons. The member who receives the request may accept or ignore it. If accepted, the members' contact details will be shared and both members will receive an email letting them know they can start a conversation. There is no limit to the number of key connections you can make. Key connections are available to all members at no additional cost.


Athena coaches are in the tops of their fields, contracted by Athena to provide professional coaching services to our members. From board selection and go-to-market strategy, to voice and presence coaching and branding insights, leverage their expert guidance to get closer to your goals. Learn more about our individual coaches and schedule a session with them now!

Who has coaching?

All Athena members who joined after January 14, 2022 or renewed on our updated annual membership plan have 2 hours of coaching included with their annual membership. Any active member may purchase additional coaching hours a la carte or as part of our Accelerator add-on.

You can see how many hours you have available at any time on your coaching page here:

If you joined Athena before January 14, 2022 and did not purchase coaching separately as an add-on, or you would like to purchase more hours of coaching, either navigate to your View Plan and Upgrade page via your photo bubble in the top right corner of your screen, or purchase directly on the coaching page where you locate your available coaching hours.

If you have any questions about our coaching or Accelerator add-ons, you book a membership call with our team here to learn more about your options with Athena.

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