The Athena Project was established in 1999 by the UK higher education funding councils, UniversitiesUK and Office of Science and Technology, Department of Trade and Industry.
Its aims are the advancement and promotion of the careers of women in science, engineering and technology (SET) in higher education and research to achieve a significant increase in the number of women recruited to top posts.
In achieving its aims Athena has worked in partnership with universities, research councils and SET professional and learned societies. Athena is housed and supported by The Royal Society. Its other supporters include BP, Equality Challenge Unit, Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills, Institute of Physics, Pfizer, Royal Academy of Engineering, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK Research Centre for Women in SET, and The Wellcome Trust.
In January 2010 the Athena Forum has launched Signposting Career Paths for Post Doctoral Researchers Guide and Bookmark. The guide provides accessible, useful and practical advice for early careers researchers, helping them think about and plan their career and progression.