Cathy O’Dowd Keynote Speaker

  • Mountaineer and expedition leader
  • First woman to climb Everest from both the North and South sides
  • Expert on team dynamics, leadership and motivation

Cathy O’Dowd's Biography

Cathy O’Dowd is the first woman in the world to climb Mount Everest, the world’s highest mountain, from both its north and south sides. Her first ascent of Everest happened in the midst of the chaotic events that form of the basis of the ‘true story’ behind the Hollywood movie Everest. Cathy, who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, has climbed ever since leaving school. She was completing her Masters degree in Journalism, while working as university lecturer, when she saw a newspaper advert for a place on the 1st South African Everest Expedition. Six months later she was the first South African to summit Everest. Three years later she became the first woman in the world to climb the mountain from both sides. Finally she made one last expedition to Everest to try a new route on the Kangshung face.

The years she spent in the Himalaya were for her a degree ‘in living’. The insights she discovered about herself, and about individuals and teams under intense stress in the face of overwhelming challenge, are ones she has been sharing with her corporate audiences ever since. Her stories touch on themes of importance to anyone trying to run successful projects and get the best out of people. Cathy’s most challenging Himalayan epic was as part of team forging a new route on an 8000 metre peak. Although Cathy herself did not reach the summit, two of her teammates did, doing the first ascent of Nanga Parbat via the Mazeno ridge, and winning the prestigious Piolet d’Or for their achievement. She has turned this experience into a fascinating interactive case-study of successful project execution of truly innovative goals.

Read More

Videos of Cathy O’Dowd

Think Like An Explorer - going where no one has gone before
Think Like An Explorer - going where no one has gone before
Teamwork & leadership from the slopes of Everest
Teamwork & leadership from the slopes of Everest
Alcanza las Alturas con Cathy O'Dowd: hasta la cima del Everest - y más allá
Alcanza las Alturas con Cathy O'Dowd: hasta la cima del Everest - y más allá

Books by Cathy O’Dowd

Just for the love of it

Check Cathy O’Dowd's speaking availability and fees

Interested in booking Cathy O’Dowd to speak at an event? Please provide your details and we’ll get in touch within 24 hours.

    View our related Speakers

    Joel Salatin Speaker
    Exclusive
    Joel Salatin
    Sustainability & Food Policy Expert
    Mike Isaac Speaker
    Exclusive
    Mike Isaac
    Technology Journalist and Reporter for The New York Times
    Jeremy Hunt Speaker
    Exclusive
    Jeremy Hunt
    Longest serving UK Secretary of State for Health
    Dr. Kathy Sullivan Speaker
    Exclusive
    Dr. Kathy Sullivan
    First American Woman to Walk in Space
    Stephen Trzeciak Speaker
    Exclusive
    Stephen Trzeciak
    Physician, Scientist and Professor
    Scott Hartley Speaker
    Exclusive
    Scott Hartley
    Venture Capitalist and Best-Selling Author
    Simon Kuper
    Simon Kuper Speaker
    Exclusive
    Simon Kuper
    Expert on the Business of Football
    Joe Townsend Speaker
    Exclusive
    Joe Townsend
    Former Royal Marine and Paralympic Triathlete
    Iain Martin Speaker
    Exclusive
    Iain Martin
    Political Commentator & Author
    Paul Markillie Speaker
    Exclusive
    Paul Markillie
    World expert on the disruptive impact of new technologies

    We use cookies

    We use cookies and other tracking technologies to improve your browsing experience on our website, to show you personalized content and targeted ads, to analyze our website traffic, and to understand where our visitors are coming from. By browsing our website, you consent to our use of cookies and other tracking technologies.

    Accept Cookies