Our Criteria

The Athena40 ranking/selection is based on a set of criteria and also input from a 50-member committee.


Immediate Impact

The 40 ‘Athenas’ are evaluated according to the issues that they raised and the impact created by each ‘Athena’ over the last two years (since the last ranking). Specifically:

  • Originality of writing
  • Relevance of ideas or actions
  • Courageous investigation/writing
  • Accessibility/ Dissemination of ideas
  • Immediate social/political environment
  • International perspective

Long-term Work

The evaluation will also be based on each “Athena’s” commitment and battles over the long term (the last ten years):

  • Impact of work
  • Thought diversity
  • Power to effect social/other change
  • Power to create collaboration
  • Power to create peace
  • Being a role model

Members of the public can also cast votes and suggest women who should be considered.