Greenville Health System receives the 2015 ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award

The story of the century

Published Monday, November 16, 2015 12:00 pm

The Greenville Chamber honored Greenville Health System (GHS) with the 2015 ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award for its commitment to increasing the positive impact of women’s leadership in our community. The second annual award was presented at the Chamber’s ATHENA Leadership Symposium on November 17th.

The ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award is presented to an organization that supports and develops women leaders by creating an organizational culture that encourages female employees to achieve their full leadership potential or gives back to the larger community of women or girls by providing and supporting leadership development opportunities and initiatives.

GHS was cited for numerous achievements in promoting women’s leadership, including:

  • The African American Women at GHS employee resource group, which exists to promote leadership and equity for African American women within the health system.
  • The Women in Medicine and Science at GHS employee resource group, which exists to ensure leadership development and career advancement opportunities for female physicians and biomedical sciences faculty.
  • The GHS Emerging Leaders program for employees at both the staff and management level. The 12-month leadership development program works to establish a diverse pool of qualified internal candidates for management and director positions and supports high performers interested in advancing within the organization.
  • GHS’ strong supplier diversity program, which empowers and assists women-owned businesses in the community.
  • Support for Nurse Family Partnership, a program that supports low-income, first-time moms and their babies. 
  • Support for PASOs (Perinatal Awareness for Successful Outcomes), a program targeted to Latina women that strives to help these women overcome challenges associated with prenatal care.
  • Sponsorship of Girls on the Run, a program that combines training for a 5K run with esteem-enhancing workouts for girls ages 8-15.

“GHS is committed to creating a culture of inclusion that encourages all employees to achieve their full leadership potential,” said GHS President and CEO Mike Riordan. “Improving the culture of diversity and creating opportunities for women to achieve their full leadership potential is something that GHS is committed to.”


About the Greenville Chamber’s ATHENA Initiatives
ATHENA International is a non-profit organization that partners with the Greenville Chamber to accomplish the critical mission of:

  • Supporting, developing, and honoring women as leaders
  • Inspiring women to achieve their full potential and
  • Creating balance in leadership worldwide.

The ATHENA Leadership Symposium is inspired by recipients of the ATHENA Leadership Award®, which has been presented annually to individuals who assist women in reaching their full leadership potential; demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; and, provide valuable service by devoting time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the community.

To extend the mission of ATHENA, past recipients of the ATHENA Leadership Award developed the ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award in 2014 to recognize an organization that creates a culture that encourages women to achieve their full leadership potential. By recognizing, showcasing, and celebrating an organization with successful initiatives that support and advance women as leaders, the intent is to inspire and motivate other organizations to use similar strategies to replicate their success.


The ultimate goal of the ATHENA Organizational Leadership Award is to honor organizations committed to increasing the positive impact of women’s leadership in our community. In selecting a recipient for the award, the selection committee considered whether the organization has:

  • Demonstrated a passion and conviction toward having women in leadership roles throughout the organization, including a commitment from the top senior leadership toward advancing women;
  • Launched an initiative or program to specifically advance women as leaders;
  • Set goals to increase the number of women in leadership, monitors progress toward those goals, and shares information throughout the organization on progress and status of women leaders (transparency);
  • Programs such as flexible hours or child care to help women balance families and careers; and
  • Advocates for women leaders and girls in the community.

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