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 these women sincerely want to help other women advance.

You may request a connection to another member for any reason, such as mentoring from a senior leader, for a peer-to peer exchange, to hear the voice of the customer, 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, 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. 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?

If you are a Concierge member, you may lean on your Member Success Manager (MSM) to curate targeted connections for you. Simply discuss your interests and any goals you're looking to advance with your MSM, and they will search for members with the right experience to support you.

While you may request a connection to any member, we also have a group of members who have explicitly committed to donating some of their time each year to mentoring Athena members one-on-one. These are Experienced Board Directors who are dedicated to sending the elevator back down. You can search for them specifically by using the filter for 'Experienced Board Directors' in the Find & Connect directory.

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 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.

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. 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 coaches here.

Athena's coaching is an add-on service, purchased separately from your membership plan. If you have purchased coaching, you may book a session via the Appointments page by clicking on "Schedule Coaching" under the Learning tab, or on your Dashboard. If you would like to add-on or learn more about our coaching services, please reach out to [email protected].

Learning Tab > Schedule Coaching

Schedule Coaching via your Dashboard:

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