Born or bred, women leaders still remain less the rule than the exception, commanding our curiosity and attention. What brought them to the pinnacle of their professions? Intense focus, the guidance of an enlightened mentor, networks of other professionals, sheer ambition combined with a sharp intellect, a talent for taking chances, or all of the above? In conjunction with the launch of The Athena Center for Leadership Studies, we asked five outstanding alumnae leaders in a variety of professions about their careers, leadership styles, and shortlists of leadership requirements. Read on and see if you agree.