Athena's VP of Recruitment Honored as Top 100 Talent Leaders for 2024

February 8, 2024

Athena Head of Recruitment, Carmela Sais, has been recognized as one of The Bridge Group's Top 100 Talent Leaders for 2024. This honor celebrates recruitment leaders who are not only shaping the future of work through innovative HR practices, but also championing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) with unwavering commitment.

With over two decades of experience across various industries and a proven track record of success, Carmela's achievements speak for themselves. In 2023, she was also honored as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Filipino Women on LinkedIn, further underscoring her impact and influence in the recruitment space.

As the Vice President of Recruitment at Athena, she actively works to continue implementing inclusive practices in the company’s recruitment process and spearheads initiatives focused on promoting equity in talent acquisition and retention. Together with her recruitment team, Carmela ensures that Athena not only attracts top talent but also cultivates a work environment where they are valued, developed, and empowered to succeed.

“Being recognized as one of The Bridge Group's Top 100 Talent Leaders is incredibly humbling, but what truly ignites my passion as a talent leader is the opportunity I have to create amazing opportunities for Filipinos to thrive in the global stage," Carmela shares. "I’ve always wanted Athena to be a place where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued, where diverse perspectives ignite innovation, and where collective brilliance paves the way for a future that benefits everyone. This recognition is a shared honor, a reflection of the collective effort it took to create a truly inclusive and thriving work environment like Athena’s."

Looking ahead, Carmela remains committed to advancing Athena's mission of creating a workplace where every individual can thrive. She plans to expand the company's inclusive policies and implement more community outreach initiatives, such as on-ground recruitment events, mentorship programs, and career development workshops, to connect with diverse talent and support their professional growth.

Currently, Athena is establishing a presence in Kenya and Carmela is excited to create new pathways for diverse talent to access opportunities in Athena, reinforcing the company's commitment to inclusion on a global scale.

“My focus at Athena remains clear, which is to continue championing a workplace where everyone, regardless of background, has the opportunity to flourish. I’ve said this before but I just want to continue taking our company to new heights. I don’t want us to just keep up with the changes in recruitment and the future of work. I want us to lead the pack.”

With Carmela at the helm of Athena's recruitment strategies and operations, Athena isn't merely shaping careers; it's pioneering a future where inclusion is the standard, and opportunities for Filipino professionals are limitless.

Connect with Carmela Sais on LinkedIn here.

Athena Bags 2 Awards For AI Adoption, Recruitment Innovation At TalentView’s People Insight Awards

August 25, 2023

Athena, a trailblazer in delegation solutions, has earned recognition for its efforts to empower its workforce with cutting-edge AI tools and its innovative recruitment practices aimed at providing a positive experience for candidates.

The organization was named the Most Future-Forward Company and Best Candidate Experience Innovation at the People Insight Awards 2023, which was organized by TalentView a leading employer branding firm that works with Fortune 1000 companies in the ASEAN Region.

Athena Recruitment Sourcing Manager Gio Salanatin accepted the awards on behalf of the organization’s Technology and Recruitment teams in a ceremony held at TalentView’s headquarters recently.

“As a startup, Athena always looks to the future. Being future-forward is not a choice for us, but a need. Our people are taught not to be afraid of AI or technology. We embrace its boundless potential to optimize our work, enhance our creativity, and empower our people,” said Salanatin in his speech for the Most Future-Forward Company award.

Athena's initiatives in AI adoption and integration include equipping its Executive Partners with AI tools that are tailored to their needs and teaching them prompt engineering through intensive multi-week bootcamps and modular online learning. Athena’s Tech team also developed AthenaGPT and Athena Plugin, user-centered demos that are designed to improve work processes.

Meanwhile, Athena won Best Candidate Experience Innovation for enhancing its candidate screening through the use of custom assessments, leveraging Glassdoor as an employer branding tool, and providing support and valuable resources to applicants. These strategic solutions, aimed at sourcing and securing talent, have played a pivotal role in solidifying Athena's reputation as an employer of choice.

Salanatin, who received the award alongside Recruitment Managers Tabel San Gabriel and Marga Bonillo, also expressed gratitude for the recognition while acknowledging the challenges that come with assembling a team of top-tier talents.

“While we take pride in the excellent service we provide to clients, we’re even more proud of our exceptional Executive Assistants and all team members around the world who form the backbone of our success,” he shared.

He added that “finding the perfect Cinderella for each role” in the organization requires “continuous experimentation in sourcing and assessing candidates.” Amidst the challenges, Athena's success story is one of collaboration and dedication to its core values.

"What empowers us every day is teamwork and our commitment to our mission and vision. All of our efforts link back to our core values—going above and beyond and building long-term partnerships—which serve as our guiding light in everything we do," said Salanatin.

As Athena continues its journey of innovation, it also remains on the lookout for like-minded individuals with a passion for growth and excellence. Join our team and explore our job opportunities here.

Athena VP of Recruitment Recognized as a Top Influential Filipina Leader on LinkedIn

July 11, 2023

Athena VP of Recruitment Carmela Sais was recently honored as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Filipino Women on LinkedIn in 2023. This recognition is part of an esteemed annual initiative spearheaded by Connected Women, VB Consulting, and ConnectedFilipinos that aims to celebrate outstanding Filipina professionals on the networking platform.

As the driving force behind Athena's recruitment strategies and operations, Carmela has proven herself to be a true trailblazer in her field. Her influence and dedication to her work have not only earned her this recognition but have also made a significant impact on her community and industry through the power of LinkedIn.

“I have always been an advocate for LinkedIn because it’s the only platform for professionals that allows us to connect on opportunities and grow as business leaders. This is the platform where I can find the best talent and where headhunters have also found me. In the past 10 years, I have mentored my own recruiters and company leaders on the value of staying connected,” she said.

At Athena, Carmela has pushed for leveraging LinkedIn as a powerful tool for sourcing candidates, engaging with potential hires, and showcasing employee stories. Through her innovative recruitment strategies, her team has consistently attracted top talent, helping the company thrive in a competitive industry.

Beyond her role at Athena, Carmela has gone above and beyond to support and uplift her community. Through LinkedIn, she has actively shared her knowledge and insights, empowering others in their professional journeys. She has provided valuable advice, mentorship, and guidance to aspiring professionals, inspiring them to reach their full potential.

"I am incredibly humbled and grateful for this prestigious recognition. The opportunities and blessings that have come my way have inspired me to give back and uplift the next generation of leaders through mentorship," Carmela said. "In this ever-evolving landscape of work and recruitment, I am driven to prepare Filipinos for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead."

Carmela Sais's recognition as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Filipino Women on LinkedIn 2023 is a testament to her commitment to making a difference. She continues to leverage her platform to foster positive change within her industry and community, promoting diversity, inclusion, and empowerment in the workplace.

"I'm all about riding the wave of the future and taking our company to new heights. I don’t want us to just keep up with the changes in recruitment and the future of work. I want us to lead the pack. We're all about embracing the latest trends, like automation, AI, and data-driven insights, to level up our talent acquisition game. And hey, we're not just sitting around waiting for things to happen. We're investing in our team's skills, promoting continuous learning, and creating a culture of innovation,” she said.

As Carmela leads Athena's recruitment efforts, she aims to continue embodying the values of the company and inspiring her colleagues and peers. Her influential presence on LinkedIn serves as a reminder that excellence is not only measured by personal milestones but also by the impact we have on others and our community.

EAs Share Their Stories About How Athena Changed Their Lives

December 8, 2022

A year ago, the idea of pursuing a full-time job while taking an active role as a mom to her toddler seemed impossible to Executive Assistant, Shine. Since joining Athena, she discovered she could actually do both without compromising herself, her relationship with her daughter, or her career. Long story short: Her dream life is now a reality.

“I always thought that you couldn’t be a mom and a career woman at the same time. Now, I finally have time to bond with my daughter. I think that’s really special,” says Shine. Aside from being more present at home, being an EA also opened the door for her to become financially independent.

Like Shine, many Athena EAs have seen their lives significantly changed in ways they could have not imagined. If you ask them, they’ll tell you that the recruitment and training process may be challenging, but in the long run, you will reap the rewards. After all, nothing worth having comes easy.

You, too, can change your life for the better. What exactly awaits you at Athena? We round up some of the fundamentals:

Making Time Matter

The perfect present you can give yourself is being present. With Athena’s 100% remote work setup, we can dedicate more moments to things that truly matter to us. And with daily commuting out of the equation, it becomes possible to handle time more efficiently and attend to both your work and personal life.

Our EAs are encouraged to negotiate their schedules with their clients. Ivan says this afforded him the opportunity to focus on family, friends, and self-care, “Life at Athena has become more holistic. I don’t spend the entire week just working and cramming as much enjoyment as possible on the weekends. Life has become more balanced and fun at Athena.”

Echoing Ivan’s sentiment, EA Migs shares, “I am at my healthiest state since joining Athena. Being here has enabled me to feel balanced.”

Travel and pursuing other hobbies can also easily fit into EAs’ schedules. Elle says, “Our family goes out of town as much as we can. Being able to be with them or join family events is enabled by Athena. I have more time to do things that I am passionate about.”

Finding Your Purpose

Not too long ago, EA, Anj was stuck in a rut. In desperate need for growth, she was looking for a job that would “add value” to her life. A year later, she found her true calling as an Athena EA.

“I needed something to make me feel alive again, and Athena gave me that. I feel that this is what I’m meant to do – to create an impact on someone's life,” shares Anj. The best compliment she’s gotten from her client? “I can’t live without you.”

Like Anj, a sense of a bigger purpose is what constantly pushes EA Ivan to contribute to the growth of his client’s brand. “At Athena, having a long-term client really keeps me motivated. I can see directly what happens after I finish a task or an article,” shares Ivan about Athena’s 1:1 client-EA partnerships. “Before, I didn’t enjoy the short-term aspect of being a freelancer since I didn’t get to see my client’s business grow.”

Attesting to Ivan’s dedication to the role, his client raved about their partnership at Athena’s General Assembly in Boracay early this year. Ivan is grateful for Eric’s praises, saying, “It feels great that I have had such a big impact on my client’s life.”

Becoming an Employee of the Future

Athena’s culture of lifelong learning puts EAs on a path to continuous development. We equip them with soft and hard skills that make them globally competitive. As a result, they develop confidence and a growth mindset, preparing them for the big shifts in the future of the workplace.

Depending on their clients’ needs, our EAs may be required to learn a wide variety of competencies and dabble in previously unfamiliar fields. These may include social media management, payroll management, cryptocurrency, event planning, SEO optimization, podcast production, and many more. The EA role is extremely dynamic, requiring strategic thinking, problem-solving, emotional intelligence, resourcefulness, and delegation skills.

“Blessed” is how EA LJ would describe her life right now. “Athena gave me this opportunity to realize that I have more to offer. Athena gave me my voice, my confidence, and the realization that I can actually live my life the way I want it to be lived.”

Like our Athena EAs, you too can transform your life however you want it and make time for the things that truly matter to you.

Are you ready to make that change for yourself? Join our growing team in 2023. Check out our job openings here.

5 Ways Executive Assistants are Supported at Athena

November 24, 2022

Picture this: You're an Executive Assistant who received a task unfamiliar to you. You try to figure it out on your own, yet you still have no idea how to accomplish it. On top of that, you have emails to draft, meetings to attend, and phone calls to make. Long story short: You're starting to feel overwhelmed.

This feeling of dread and cluelessness is exactly what we want to avoid at Athena. As partners to top-level executives and founders, we go to great lengths to make sure that our Executive Assistants feel empowered and confident to accomplish any job that comes their way.

As our Head of Operations, Leica Chang, put it, "The tasks that EAs do can be particularly complex. No two EAs are doing the same thing. So it's vital as an EA to know that there's someone there behind you and cheering you on, especially when you need to be confident with the way you approach tasks."

From managing calendars and planning dinner parties to even producing a client's podcast or managing a social media account, the job of an EA is incredibly varied, and receiving a task you haven't encountered before is to be expected.

We want to avoid that feeling of the unknown when conquering a new task alone – which is why Executive Assistants here at Athena are looked out for in all areas of their lives, from daily support to career development and mental wellness.

Here are five ways Executive Assistants get incredible support at Athena.

Lean on Me Channel

Executive Assistants are introduced to the Lean on Me group channel as early as their first day. Every Athena EA is a member of this virtual space and is encouraged to ask questions and seek help from each other. It gives EAs an avenue to assist each other and offer their expertise to someone new or in need.

EA Migs cited this group chat as a big help when working with his client. "The Lean On Me channel has been really helpful for me, especially during my first month with my client. During that time, I was asked to get a list of investors. I didn't know where to start; I didn't know where to get that list of investors. I reached out to Lean On Me channel. And fortunately, two other EAS had done this kind of task before and they provided me a list of websites where I can get sources. I was able to gather a list of over 80 investors, and my client was happy about it."

Regular Training Sessions and Learning Modules

Learning continues even after your first few weeks. We at Athena believe that being a Top 1% Executive Assistant means embodying a growth mindset and constantly learning new skills. From courses on calendar management to proofreading, Athena provides regular training sessions to help Executive Assistants achieve a more comprehensive skill set and help them progress in their careers. EAs also get access to our Athena Knowledge Hub, where our Learning Experience team prepares learning modules and playbooks.

One of the many EAs who benefited from these learning resources is Anj, who finished courses that helped her serve her client better. "The Learning Experience team creates amazing courses that EAs have to take in order for us to be able to grow and not be stagnant in our careers. From time to time, I look back at these courses and they’re a great help to me."

Operations Managers

Another way that Executive Assistants get support at Athena is by having an Operations Manager (OM) who acts as their coach. Once an EA is successfully matched with a client, an OM will be assigned to help them in their journey and regularly check up on their status.

Zen, one of the Operations Managers at Athena, shares how they try to make a difference in Executive Assistants' lives. "We have a genuine care for our EAs. That's why we don't only coach them with what they're doing for their clients, but also how they are personally.  We have one-on-one sessions every week, and we make sure that after we discuss their performance with their clients, we also check if they're doing fine at home and if their welfare is okay."

Mental Wellness Coach

Our mental health and wellness affect all areas of our life, especially our work performance. Through our Mental Wellness Coach, Executive Assistants get access to wellness programs and consultation services.

For EA Elle, having a mental wellness coach is one of her favorite things about being an Athena EA. "I am happy to work at Athena because I know that it gives importance to our mental health. They provide us a wellness coach that we can talk to in case we need someone and having your company to support you in that way is different to other organizations."

Community of EAs

While working remotely has its perks, it's no secret that it can be lonely and sometimes feel isolating. EA Migs shared how virtually bonding with his fellow EAs gives him a sense of belonging. "I have a few friends within our team. And sometimes we co-work together. We also do voice and video calls together so that we don't feel alone when working because that's one struggle with working from home. I'm glad that I have other people to share my time with while working with a client because it makes me feel like I belong in the community." Athena's monthly hands-on meetings and weekly sync also help strengthen the community despite the challenges of remote work.

Our supportive community is one of the things we take pride in at Athena.  Each Executive Assistant may be working with a different client and accomplishing various tasks, but behind the scenes, our team of EAs and the rest of the organization rally together to support and empower one another.

Start building a fulfilling career at Athena today.