Ellen Hartt Norden, 58, an early director of Washington Opportunities for Women Inc., died of cancer Monday at home in Washington.

Mrs. Norden became a director of WOW, an organization that helps women reenter the job market, after it was incorporated in 1966. She also contributed to a book it published. "Washington Opportunities for Women, a Guide to Parttime Work and Study for the Educated Woman." The organization is known now as Wider Opportunities for Women.

In addition, Mrs. Norden served on the advisory committee of volunteer services for the old Health and Welfare Council of the National Capital Area.

She was born in Brookline, Mass. She attended Bennington College in Vermont and remained active in its alumni affairs. She served in the Office of Strategic Services, the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency, during World War II. She was stationed in the United States and then in Europe.

She married Carl Norden, a Foreign Service officer, in 1953 and accompanied him on assignments to Paris and Venezuela. They established a home in Washington in the mid-1950s. They also have a farm in The Plains, Va.

In addition to her husband, of the home in Washington, Mrs. Norden's survivors include four daughters, Susan, Bettina, Elaina and Caroline, all of the home; her mother, Mrs. Henry M. Channing, of Cazenovia, N.Y., and a brother, Dudley Nickerson Hartt Jr., of Wilberham, Mass.