Tuesday 19th December 2023

Housing Career Journeys – let’s shout about the fantastic opportunities the sector offers from the rooftops

It was brilliant to have so many women working in social housing join us for our event earlier this month on housing career journeys.

Housing Career Journeys – let’s shout about the fantastic opportunities the sector offers from the rooftops

By Nicola Douglas, Hough Bellis & Victoria Anderson, Grampian Housing

It was brilliant to have so many women working in social housing join us for our event earlier this month on housing career journeys.

Our venue was Cadence Design Systems in Edinburgh, which supports women working in STEM, and gave us stunning views of the Christmas markets for our festive event.

We heard from two successful women from Hanover Scotland– one at the start of her career journey, and another with experience spanning 35 years in the sector.

Angela Currie, the CEO of Hanover Scotland and Becky Clarke, CIH Young Achiever in Housing Award Winner joined us for an inspiring discussion.

Angela, who was recently shortlisted for the Excellence in Leadership Award at the CIH Scotland Awards has had a hugely successful career in housing spanning 35 years.

Angela's leadership journey began as a housing officer in East Lothian Council, where she quickly distinguished herself. Over the years, she evolved into roles such as communications and participation officer, delving into service improvement, performance management, and even extending her expertise into social work.

She then moved to Ayrshire, where her tenure included setting up homeless services, showcasing her strategic skills in response to evolving statutory responsibilities. She provided WISH members with some pearls of wisdom from her career journey including what not to do as a leader.

Angela played a pivotal role in driving the growth of Scotland's Housing Network (SHN), serving as a partnership manager. Her journey with SHN, starting in its early days, provided her with a wealth of experience collaborating with diverse leadership teams and local authorities. As the organisation expanded, so did Angela's role, into the Director, breaking barriers in a time when male leadership dominated.

Angela's ascent continued as she became Director of Operations and Assets at Blackwood Homes and Care, where she served for five years before taking on the mantle of CEO at Hanover Housing. Her disciplined approach, clear focus on cultural change, and robust governance have earned her praise in the industry.

Angela took on the role of CEO during the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, displaying resilience and adaptability. Leading an organisation with 600 staff, she navigated through the uncertainties, demonstrating her commitment to both the team and the tenants.

Angela is known for her frequent travels throughout Hanover’s extensive stock, ensuring she personally connects with as many of the 200 developments across the country as possible.

Becky Clarke, who was recently crowned Young Achiever of the Year at the CIH Scotland awards shared her experiences in housing so far.

Becky's journey stands out as a testament to the supportive environment fostered within the organisation. Becky attributes her success to the guidance and support from her line manager, emphasising the importance of a workplace culture that encourages personal and professional growth. The freedom to contribute her ideas for improvements has been a catalyst for her achievements.

Becky has now assumed a leadership role, taking charge of administration of the adaptations service.

Her trajectory exemplifies the potential for growth within a housing career, reflecting the commitment to recognising and nurturing talent at all levels within the sectors.

We all enjoyed networking and a festive quiz after our discussion with Becky and Angela. It was a great chance to catch up with familiar faces and meet new people too.

We could have talked all night - but one thing we all agreed after our chat with Becky and Angela, is the sheer variety of opportunities the sector offers for women to succeed in their careers. And that is something we need to be shouting about that from the rooftops.

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