The advancement of science, engineering and technology (SET) is fundamental to quality of life across the globe. The Athena Project believes that it is vitally important that women are adequately represented in what has traditionally been, and is still a male-dominated area. Athena also believes that science cannot reach its full potential when half the population is excluded from its activities. To achieve a world in which science benefits from the contributions of all, the aims of the Athena Project are to advance and promote the careers of women in science, engineering and technology in higher education (HE) and research and to achieve a significant increase in the number of women recruited to top posts. Since its establishment in 1999 Athena has worked in partnership with UK universities and the SET professional and learned societies.