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Supporting mothers and women of color in the workplace feat. Heather Odendaal

2 min read

Supporting mothers and women of color in the workplace feat. Heather Odendaal

In this episode of People at Work, Heather Odendaal joins us to talk about creating a mindfully inclusive workplace.

As a Dad to two young boys, it is more than a full-time job taking care of them. Between soccer practice, baseball practice, swimming lessons, and play dates I am basically their chauffeur. I’m fortunate that I have a lot of help from their grandparents and my wife, but not everyone has that support system and juggling two full-time jobs (parent + your career) is incredibly difficult. Employers need to understand that and leaders need to be a support system.

Heather Odendaal is the co-founder and CEO of WNORTH which is a global network and community of women aiming for, or already on, a senior executive leadership track. Through her relationship with WNORTH members, Heather has heard all about the good and the bad when it comes to how employers have and haven’t supported mothers and women of color in the workplace. I had the opportunity to chat with her and get her thoughts on what to expect as we slowly transition to whatever this new normal of hybrid work is.

We spoke about why prescribing a rigid schedule to employees just doesn’t work anymore, how we should expect a dip in productivity as we transition back into the workplace, and why it’s important to schedule meetings and other key events at times when working parents are able to attend.

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“It’s important to schedule meetings at a time when working parents can make them to make sure that you’re being inclusive.”

Heather Odendaal

Co-founder & CEO, WNORTH

Bio

Meet Heather Odendaal -- an accomplished Canadian entrepreneur, brand builder and event producer whose experience in corporate environments inspired her to create and co-found WNORTH, a global organization dedicated to the development of women mid-career on a trajectory towards senior executive leadership. 

Heather currently resides in Whistler, BC, and is a Director on the board of the Whistler Chamber of Commerce. In her spare time, you can find her judging local food & wine festivals, and skiing with her husband and two children.

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