5 p.m. Friday, June 29! We’re now down to the final hours until the nominating deadline for the 2012 ATHENA Awards, which recognize women in our region who demonstrate excellence in their work and help other women to succeed.

Athena is often depicted holding both a shield and a spear with an owl flying nearby,  representing her reliance on force tempered by wisdom and strategy.

The traditional Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Award calls out a woman who mentors other women and supports their leadership. The ATHENA Young Professional Award recognizes an emerging leader age 35 or younger who serves as a role model to other young women in her work and her life.

If you’re looking for some last-minute inspiration, head over to Athena-Pittsburgh.com, where Pittsburgh Magazine’s Betsy Benson shared nomination writing tips. You can also watch a video from last month’s breakfast reception, in which previous recipients talk about what the awards have meant to them.

Taking its name from the Greek goddess of strength and wisdom, the Greater Pittsburgh ATHENA Awards luncheon is one of the largest gatherings among the hundreds of ATHENA International-affiliated events presented around the world each year. More than 900 women and men attended the Pittsburgh event in 2011.

Learn more and submit nominations at Athena-Pittsburgh.com by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 29, 2012. (Nominations will only be accepted online.) Please also mark your calendar for the awards luncheon on Monday, Sept. 24, 2012 at the Westin Convention Center Pittsburgh.

ImaginePittsburghNow.com has blogged about the ATHENA awards, Tweeted about them via @ImaginePgh under the hashtag #PghAthena and spread the word via our Facebook page, Pittsburgh Region. Please link to our pages and push the word out via your own social media or other networks. There are many women in the Pittsburgh region doing important work to foster women’s leadership and empowerment. Help us to recognize them.

ImaginePittsburghNow.com is the blog of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which organizes the annual ATHENA awards ceremony. Read all of our ATHENA coverage here.