Founded in 2001, WIL is a national, non-profit organization dedicated to advancing women in leadership roles. WIL delivers innovative programming to help thousands of women across Canada to develop their leadership skills. We are present in key cities, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal and Vancouver. Since our beginnings in 2001, we have grown to organize a nation-wide mentorship program, Aboriginal Women’s Leadership Program and a series of forums showcasing women role models.  WIL also runs a number of other programs that support women’s leadership development including internship, volunteer and training programs.  Since our launch over $3.5 million has been invested to showcase female role models across Canada. WIL is a national, non-profit organization with Charity Status (Registered Charitable No. 86600 3536 RR0001).

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

Our Mission: WIL is committed to bringing the best leadership development experience to women at all stages of their careers.

WIL’s diverse and growing community consists of national staff, volunteers at Chapters across Canada, corporate members, partners, and individual members at large.  Working with HR & diversity leaders we provide learning platforms to build the core skills and confidence that women need for transformational growth and success in the workplace.


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