Our Mission Statement

Athena is passionate about equal opportunities for people regardless of gender. We raise visibility of gender issues and invite everyone to join the conversation, by doing this, we work with the business to influence meaningful change in the workplace. Athena inspires progress.

What is Athena?

Athena is a group led by employees, focused on discussing issues relating to gender. Many factors relating to gender stop people from fulfilling their potential inside and outside of work; whether it’s differences in parental leave entitlement for men and women, fewer women reaching senior levels of the business, or stereotyped thinking which impacts how we all view the world.

Whatever your gender, Athena’s here for you; to spark conversations on these issues and to help the business find creative ways to address them.

If you want to diversify your thinking and demonstrate great people skills, you’ll gain a huge amount from getting involved. People who attend Athena events say they have benefitted in a range of ways; from becoming a more understanding leader to a more confident team member, to learning about colleagues’ perspectives or developing their parenting style.

Want to get involved?

Athena aims to inspire progress through inclusion – here are 5 ways you can join us on the journey.

The story so far

How it began

2017: Athena was founded by Emma Rogan, Rosy Elstone and Brodie Hanley-McIntosh. Emma, having been involved in a network in her previous role in corporate banking, approached some Carnival UK colleagues to form the employee led group and Athena was born. Learn more about our founders here.

Early 2018: Athena was formally founded in March 2018 and launched with their first event with the aim of ‘supporting connections for like-minded individuals to grow personally and professionally’. They wanted to spotlight topical issues and provide a voice for women in Carnival UK, by providing a forum for women to develop, network and thrive.

Events & Activities

Late 2018: Athena went on to hold several events as a women’s network, including a workshop on imposter syndrome, a resilience session and a conversation with Sally Ockendon about negotiation. And 6 months after launch, they had 20% of colleagues engaging with our content and were drawing crowds of around 120 to each event.


2019: Athena was relaunched as a gender balance network and celebrated International Men’s Day for the first time. The focus was now on issues facing all genders

2021: M’power launched, joining Athena and Spectrum to grow our family of employee-led networks.

2022: REACH launched, joining our growing family of employee-led networks, and Chelsea Hughes stepped up to lead Athena, continuing the fantastic efforts of their predecessors. Athena joined forces with WiHTL, a Collaboration Community devoted to increasing Diversity and Inclusion across Hospitality, Travel and Leisure aiming to support companies across these industries to create diverse and inclusive environments.

2024: Original founders Brodie Hanley-McIntosh and Emma Rogan now lead Athena once more, continuing to inspire gender equality via engaging events and a step up in focus to influence meaningful change in the workplace.

Watch this space for more exciting news coming soon!

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