Heather Odendaal is an accomplished Canadian entrepreneur, brand builder, and event producer whose experience in corporate environments inspired her to found WNORTH, a global organization dedicated to the development of women mid-career on a trajectory towards senior executive leadership.
Prior to launching her organization, Heather was employed as a sales executive for a Fortune 500 company. There, she noticed the lack of women in senior executive positions, and she decided to take matters into her own hands and launch WNORTH.
What originally started as an annual conference in 2015, WNORTH now connects top female business leaders in corporate, public, and entrepreneurial sectors through The Members’ Club, which provides women with development opportunities, including workshops, leadership masterminds, events, and courses, as well as a virtual forum of over 500 hours of online content. WNORTH also holds Chapter Cities throughout North America and the U.K., where members can network and uplift each other through meet-ups, group exercises, and activities.
When the pandemic hit in 2020, Heather and her team quickly pivoted to create virtual experiences for their members and conference attendees. They are hard at work highlighting and solving the problem of the insufficient support structures in North America for women in the workforce, which was even more pronounced over the last year and a half.
WNORTH was named Innovative Business of the Year 2021 at the Whistler Excellence Awards, and the WNORTH Virtual Conference was recognized by BizBash as one of the top 10 Most Innovative Meetings 2021.
Odendaal was included in BizBash’s 2021 and 2020 roundup of Canada’s Most Influential Event Pros, and in last year, she was named by Globe and Mail’s Report on Business as one of the Top 50 Changemakers of 2022.
Heather has worked on some of the world’s largest and most prominent events, including the Whistler Film Festival, Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival, YPO’s Global Leadership Conferences and the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. She is consistently featured in a variety of top-tier publications and podcasts, and sits on the Forbes Business Council.
In her spare time, you can find her judging local food & wine competitions, paddleboarding on the local Whistler lakes in the summer and skiing Whistler Blackcomb mountain in the winter with her husband Mike and their two children.
We’re seeking visionary speakers who can contribute to thought-provoking keynotes, engaging panel discussions, and invigorating networking sessions. Let’s collaborate and empower each other to level the playing field and drive lasting impact.
an award-winning membership network dedicated to bridging the gender power gap by elevating women in the leadership pipeline.
We connect top business leaders in corporate, public and entrepreneurial sectors through an annual Conference (established in 2015) and The Members’ Club which provides online content, virtual leadership forums and chapters in Canada, US and the UK hosting in person events.
To date, WNORTH has hosted over 15k past event attendees, 350+ events, 400+ speakers and has over 1,200 members worldwide. Corporate Members include PwC, Indeed.com, SAP and Accor Hotels. WNORTH’s mission is to develop more women to leading positions in business, and in doing so we will elevate the teams they work in, the families they lead and the communities in which they live.