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. The years she spent on or around Everest 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. She has been a professional speaker for 20 years and has presented her message to companies in more than 40 countries on six continents. Her stories touch on themes of importance to anyone trying to get the best out of themselves or their people.
Cathy, who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, has climbed ever since leaving school. She was completing her Masters degree in Media Studies 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.
She remains an active adventurer. She was part of the team that did the first ascent of Nanga Parbat via the Mazeno ridge and her most recent expedition was a ski-mountaineering ascent of Mount Logan, the second highest peak in North America.
Cathy now lives in Andorra, in the Pyrenees mountains in Europe, and does rock-climbing and ski-mountaineering in her spare time. She is also active in charities focused on female leadership, notably the Astraia Female Leadership Foundation and the Rwenzori Women For Health initiative.
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Cathy dropped additional nuggets of sales and marketing goodness in the EXTENDED Interview. Be sure to click here to access all of our great extended interviews, transcripts and more within our Insider's Club.
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