The Athena Rising Foundation

The Athena Rising Foundation was created to help women rise into the top levels of senior leadership, from executives, to the C-suite, to the boardroom.

About The Athena Rising Foundation

The Athena Rising Foundation was created to help women rise into the top levels of senior leadership – from executives, to the C-suite, to the boardroom. We particularly focus on supporting underrepresented women leaders who make up less than 5% of the top ranks of leadership.


We believe the top ranks of business should reflect the demographics of the society it serves. We are dedicated to supporting all women as they reach the top ranks of business, from all ethnicities, abilities, LGBTQ+, and more.


Our funds are dedicated to giving women an ecosystem of community, learning, and a larger funnel of opportunity in partnership with Athena Alliance, Inc.

The Athena Access Fellowship

Our current scholarship opportunity is the Access Fellowship, allowing women leaders who left or were forced to leave their positions during the pandemic and are struggling to re-enter to join Athena Alliance, Inc. – the premier executive development and networking community for senior-level women. Through Athena, women executives access the community, learning, and opportunities that can accelerate their careers into the C-suite or the boardroom. Access Fellowship membership to Athena includes:

Virtual Salons

Learning starts in a live format, designed for busy executives. Members learn corporate governance and leadership insights from board directors and leaders from the world’s most notable brands.


Women executives engage with each other in Athena’s digital community, a place to ask questions, share advice and thought leadership, support each other’s interests, and more.

Learning Library

Members gain access to a multimedia learning library, which includes hundreds of on-demand modules built for and by executive Athena members and supporters


Access Fellowship members can view and apply to all opportunities, such as board seats, CxO roles, and advisory positions.

Learning Circles

A structured learning cohort brought together by a common goal (like creating a value proposition or learning ESG+T trends). Members can dive into Athena’s content with a community for accountability and purpose-driven networking.

Peer Groups

Monthly, unrecorded, unstructured gatherings for Athena members to discuss topics of interest, from DEI to board committees (like audit and compensation) to sales and marketing best practices.

Athena's Commitment to Diversity

Member Testimonials

Nominate Someone for the Access Fellowship

Our Supporters

Some of the world’s most notable brands, investment firms, and individuals have joined us to support this effort.

Scott and Jane Maxwell

Lloyd Taylor


Meet the Board

We are a diverse group of leaders, unified by the belief that when women rise, we all rise. Through the Athena Rising Foundation, we seek to achieve equity at the highest ranks of leadership.

Dr. Yasmin Davidds

Board Director

Dr. Yasmin Davidds is an organizational psychologist, entrepreneur, and CEO of the Multicultural Women Executive Leadership Foundation and the Dr. Yasmin Davidds Leadership Institute, organizations dedicated to the teaching, instruction, and development of leadership competencies primarily focused on women in professional settings. Dr. Davidds’ commitment to the empowerment and development of all women leaders has brought her recognition and acclaim from the U.S. Congress, the California State Senate and the California State Assembly. She has been recognized and highlighted as one of the top Leading Latinas by Hispanic Magazine and as one of the most influential Latinas in “The Book of Latina Women.”

Beverly Cole

Board Director

Ms. Cole is an independent corporate director, serving on the Enterprise Risk and CRA, and Complex Real Estate Committees of a public company. She has been a senior executive in real estate, hospitality, food service, entertainment industries, and the manufacturing of consumer products in public and private companies. She is an ex- Wall Street investment banker in the commercial and residential real estate markets and served as a Federal regulator. She holds an MBA, finance degree from The Wharton School and a Juris Doctor from Fordham University. She is board member and Chair of investment Committee of a private fund, and she sits on the Board of National Association of Corporate Directors PSW Region and is a Retired State Commissioner and Insurance Task Force Member.

Lloyd Taylor

Board Secretary/Treasurer

Lloyd serves as COO as Alembic, an early-stage software startup headquartered in San Francisco. He hails from Autodesk, where he built and led operations for the global infrastructure for Autodesk’s cloud products. His board experience includes Samasource, the award-winning technology social enterprise. Lloyd is passionate about bringing opportunity and under-served people together.

Coco Brown

Board Director

Coco is the founder and CEO of Athena Alliance, the community platform that brings together women leaders, investors, CEOs, board directors and corporations in one digital ecosystem. Prior to founding Athena in 2016, Coco served as President, COO, and Board Director of Taos, a market leader in IT professional and managed services, serving hundreds of F1000 companies such as Apple, Cisco, ebay, Facebook, and Silicon Valley Bank. Coco also serves on the board of directors for ArcherPoint.

Nominate Someone for the Access Fellowship

Deadline to nominate: September 30