Founded in 2001, WIL is a national non profit with charity status that was established to increase the number of women in leadership roles, provide education and mentorship on pertinent leadership topics and aid in tearing down barriers to success.

From 2004 to 2010, we partnered with the federal and provincial governments in British Columbia and Ontario to lead labour market projects through studies on the attraction, recruitment and retention of women. Based on what we learned, we created programs that provide learning platforms to build on core skills and confidence that women need for transformational growth and success in their careers.

WIL has an amazing network of professional and executive women and has Chapters in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

Our Mission: WIL is committed to bringing the best leadership development experience to women at all stages of their careers from early stage employment to career veterans and employers by creating a connected, supportive community through networking events, social media, mentorship, leadership development, volunteer, and chapter programs.

Our Vision: To advance women in leadership and empower the next generation.

We greatly appreciate your generous financial support and heartfelt volunteer involvement.


Maya (Small)WIL’s story begins with WIL’s Founder & President, Maya Kanigan, a commerce grad following her life’s passion and founded WIL at the age of 28. For Maya, WIL was created because she saw more potential in the women around her then they saw in themselves. She believed that featuring female role models and women’s success stories would inspire others and make a difference in the lives of the next generation. She felt that by doing so, we would see a ripple effect with more women in leadership roles.

“WIL creates inspirational programs that bring women together in developing their leadership skills. Something very special happens when women join together through a supportive group that gives back to help others achieve success. And that is when we all succeed in women’s advancement.”  Maya Kanigan


  • 2001 – Created by Founder & President, Maya Kanigan
  • 2001 – Launch of Women’s Career Day Forums with workshops in BC and Ontario
  • 2003 – Hosted leadership forums across Canada in 17 universities
  • 2003 – Held first Aboriginal Women in Leadership Forum
  • 2004 to 2010 – Partnered with Federal, Provincial governments and corporate sector partners to successfully create 10 Labour Market Agreements including: studies and conferences related to women’s attraction, recruitment and retention
  • 2004 – Launch of national Speaker Series featuring women leaders
  • 2008 – Launch of Mentorship Program with funding from Status of Women
  • 2010 – Expansion of WIL Mentorship Program to Toronto and Montreal
  • 2010 – WIL Chapters established. Toronto, Vancouver , Calgary and Ottawa
  • 2012 – Hold Women in Energy Luncheon in Calgary
  • 2013 – Held first Women at the Top Summit in Whistler, BC
  • 2013 – First “Presidents- Community Champion Award” recipient Carol Mason
  • 2014 – Edmonton and Montreal Chapters formed

WHY WIL click here