Athena Programme

The King's Fund

The King's Fund


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Who should attend

While The King's Fund has a particular focus on supporting those involved in delivering health and care, we also appreciate the powerful contribution that diverse opinions and experiences can bring to leadership development. Therefore, in addition to applicants from the NHS, the private health care sector and social services, we welcome applicants from other public sector areas – such as police and prison services, education, housing services and the civil service – as well as encouraging applications from the voluntary and community sectors.

If you are a woman working at a senior level in your organisation and are passionate about, and committed to, improving your own performance, and that of your team and your organisation, then this programme is for you.

About the course

The programme is grounded in leadership theory and participants will also be encouraged to engage with current thinking and literature around leadership with, where appropriate, a specific focus on health and care. We will also examine historical and contemporary studies of women in leadership roles. The programme is highly experiential, taking a critical as well as reflective stance in terms of women, leadership and society.

Each of the four three-day modules looks at various aspects of leadership discourse and is supported by coaching, peer-to-peer support, reflective learning journals and action learning sets, in which participants will work on a live issue in their role. All participants will have access to online learning resources.

Programme aims

  • To examine and articulate current work experience with reference to purpose (of person, role, organisation), systems, contexts and boundaries.
  • To explore so-called ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ dimensions of leadership.
  • To grasp opportunities to find, make and take up organisational roles more effectively, thus providing better leadership.
  • To transform your contribution to achieving the aims of the organisation and sector.

How will you and your organisation benefit from this programme?

  • Improved personal and organisational performance.
  • Increased confidence, personal authority and presence.
  • A greater awareness of personal impact and effectiveness.
  • Increased emotional and political literacy.
  • A greater range of creative responses to challenging situations.
  • Increased leadership competence linked to corporate goals.


Before coming together as a group we ask you to complete a leadership assessment questionnaire. This will inform the individual, role-based, coaching that you will receive throughout the programme.

The modules

  • Module one is based at Rhinefield house hotel, New Forest National Park, and the group take part in an immersive experience designed to explore your understanding of yourself and your role. This module is residential (two nights).
  • Module two builds on this work and encourages participants to consider their role within the system in which they work.
  • Module three builds further and encourages participants to focus on role in context.
  • Module four brings all elements together and considers the idea of connectivity to source, ie, purpose, values, and beliefs in relation to person, system and context, in more depth. Module 4 is also likely to be a residential module, taking place in the Rhinefield house hotel. We will be able to confirm this closer to time, as this will depend on the number of participants on the programme.


Susie Perks-Baker

Susie Perks-Baker works in the leadership and organisational development team. She is the course director for the Athena programme and for the Emerging clinical leaders programme. In addition she co-directs the Integrating physical and mental health care learning network. Other work includes cons...

Rebekah O' Rourke

I was born on a sheep and grain station in NSW, Australia. I lived there until I went off to school in Sydney following my parent's divorce. I was very keen on sport, debating and the humanities. When I finished school, I moved to Melbourne and married very young. My career began with the har...

Athena Programme at The King's Fund

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

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Because of COVID-19, many providers are cancelling or postponing in-person programs or providing online participation options.

We are happy to help you find a suitable online alternative.