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New women's conference to support emerging leaders

Two scholarship spots open for local women

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How do you get more women in the boardroom?

It's a topical question being asked in boardrooms and executive offices across the country from Whistler to Toronto, given new rules for publicly traded companies, which are now required to explain how they're recruiting women to their boards and executive.

It's also on the agenda at the inaugural WNORTH conference, in Whistler on Friday March 6 — billed as a "global gathering of women on the rise."

"There's lots of amazing stats out there around the benefits of having a diverse board from a profitability standpoint," said Jill Earthy, regional director BC & Yukon for Futurpreneur Canada, and one of the speakers at WNORTH.

"So we're trying to encourage more women in particular to put their hands up to get the experience they need so they can access those opportunities..."

In addition to speaking at the conference, Earthy will also moderate a panel called "Board Games: Mastering the methodology to get on, and contribute to, boards."

WNORTH is a one-day, outcome-based conference, aimed at emerging female leaders. It's the brainchild of Heather Odendaal, founder and producer of WNORTH. She is capping attendance at 120 participants on purpose and is confident the event will sell out.

"I want to keep it intimate and I want to keep it engaged," she said. "Engagement is going to be a huge thing for us. Having not just people talking at you but being able to have conversations."

The conference is also offering the Accelerate Scholarship — a partnership with the Whistler Chamber of Commerce that will allow two local women to attend WNORTH.

The conference, at the Westin Resort & Spa, is open for registration at a cost of $375 for locals. Go to wnorthconference.com/register. To apply for a scholarship go to www.whistlerchamber.com.

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