WNORTH Taps Into Female Influence

WNORTH, an annual women’s leadership conference, will hold its third forum in Whistler from April 19 to 21 with a panel of female business leaders for keynote addresses and workshops.

Tracey Riley, managing partner, assurance at PwC Canada, will address the conference on how women’s perspectives improve the bottom line.

Pique caught up with Riley via email in advance of the conference to find out about the changing role for women in business.

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Heather Odendaal shines a deserving spotlight on women leaders at the WNORTH conference

When Whistler’s Heather Odendaal couldn’t find a conference that brought together ambitious career women aspiring to senior executive roles and women who were looking for an opportunity to network and hear from successful leaders, she created her own.

In 2015, this savvy entrepreneur and sales executive for a Fortune 500 wine company founded WNORTH Conference, a one-day event that attracted 120 attendees.

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Women, Resilience, and Working Together for Change

For the first time in the fifteen years that I have produced events, I endeavored to host an event without being there, in New York City. I called on my network, set a theme, chose a venue, and held my breath. Success would be the connection of women in a variety of industries, with the goal of reaching a leadership position, and a discussion with takeaways on how we can support more women on getting there.

With women still only representing 4.4% of CEO positions in S&P 500 companies, it’s evident that we still have some work to do and the only way we’re going to push the needle is to work together. That’s why I launched the upcoming WNORTH Conference in Whistler April 19-21 – to create a place where women could share their experiences, and together, make the path to the top easier for those aspiring to get there. The WNORTH Connect Dinner Series is a way for us to keep the “women on the rise” movement alive and well year round.

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Ellevate Network – WNORTH Founder Heather Odendaal featured on SHE BUILT THAT Podcast Series

“Heather Odendaal has a hard time “slowing down.” She’s a new mom to seven-month-old son Luke; the founder and CEO of Bluebird Strategy, an event production company she founded in 2010; and the co-founder of the WNORTH Conference, an annual gathering of global women on the rise that she launched with her husband in 2015. It’s easy to see why slowing down for Heather really isn’t an option.”


Whistler Question – The Big Idea: Elevating careers and connecting Whistler to the business world

“I am building the WNORTH brand to support driven, high-potential women across Canada, the U.S. and beyond. In Canada, we have 57 per cent of women in middle management positions, yet only 14 per cent at the executive level. We have to focus on the women mid-career in order to change these statistics.”


She Built That – Work for other people before you work for yourself advises founder of WNORTH Conference, Heather Odendaal.

“Heather founded the WNORTH Conference when she couldn’t find a resource that brought together women aspiring to senior leadership roles and female entrepreneurs who wanted to grow their business all under one roof. So in true entrepreneurial fashion, she created her own conference. Similarly, she organized the second conference with a newborn attached to her hip.”


Fresh Magazine – WNORTH Conference Profile: Heather Odendaal

“This boutique destination conference gives women the opportunity to have real conversations critical to achieving real success. A multidisciplinary approach to the delivery of conference content allows participants to dive into the conference’s main pillars of focus: Accelerate Growth, Balance Life, Inspire Change and Connections that Matter. Inspirational talks, actionable workshops and intimate networking opportunities, move conversations outside of the normal boundaries of the typical conference event.”


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