Wednesday 8th December 2021

WISH Winter Newsletter 2021

Read all the latest news from WISH...




And so this is Christmas…  Another WISH year almost over, a new COVID variant stalking our plans for the holidays, and the appointment of our new MD!  

I’ve always liked the phrase, ‘out of adversity comes opportunity’. From quite a young age I learned to embrace the negatives that life inevitably throws at us and really experience the feelings, negative though they were. I’m not sure if this is something to do with having clinical depression because when I am ill, I just don’t ‘feel’ at all, so even horrible feelings were a sign that I was ‘well’. And this last year has proven, once again, to be an adverse environment for a small networking organisation whose entire business model was based on face-to-face interactions!

A big thank you from all of us at WISH!

I would just like to say a huge thank you to all our sponsors Civitas, JLL, PRP, Calford Seaden, Greenacre Group, Lovells, Dixon Walter and Fortem and partners HoughBellis who have either continued to support us throughout this period or come on board during it because without you we really would have struggled.  I’d also like to thank every single one of our members who have continued supporting us, coming along to virtual events, and adapting to the new world effortlessly.  
And most of all our wonderful, volunteer board members.  
Sunday 5th December was International Volunteer Day and so this newsletter is a timely point to recognise the hours that go in from those amazing, dedicated volunteers to bring you the incredible events they do every year.  

If you're a regional board member please
3rd March 5-6.30pm for our
'Annual Online Thank You Event!'

If you have ever wondered about sitting on a regional WISH board (or even if it’s never crossed your mind) and would like to know more, we will be having a Q&A session in the new year with experiences from some of our board members to give you the insight and opportunity to see if it’s for you – watch this space!  

WISH Online Events

One of the brilliant things to come out of the adversity over the last two years has been our online offer.  Whilst it started as a need, it has become something so many of our members really value.  Although our survey is not closed yet (if you’ve not completed it as yet please do so here) the provisional responses are all indicating how one of the biggest barriers to networking is time, so the online offer has been phenomenally well received in allowing time-poor members to engage with our offer more effectively.  As a result, we have agreed it will stay, so from 2022 there will continue to be a national online webinar most months that will be free to access for our members, wherever you are in the world (and accessible for a small fee for non-members), as well as at least three in-real-life networking events per region, once it is safe to do so.  

How are we doing? We'd love to know! 

Tell us your thoughts by helping us fill in our
6 minute WISH 2021 SURVEY! 

WISH is really keen to understand more about what you would like to see from us, whether you're a current member, an ex-member or have never been a member. It takes 6 minutes and every single survey we receive back will give us some valuable insight into what is important to you as a member or potential member. Please click here to start the survey.

2022 promises a lot of new opportunities – we are partnering with Gemma Brown, leadership coach, to offer a tailored programme for women, so if you’re seeing the new year as the time for you to get more confidence or take the next step on your career path, this programme is for you.

Future Leaders Programme with Gemma Brown

Define your path, embrace your identity and uncover the authentic leader within.

Be empowered to take control of your career and inspired to authentically step into leadership.
In partnership with Women in Social Housing (WISH), this programme will empower you to take control of your career and inspire you to authentically step into leadership, whatever stage of your career you are at. The programme focuses on authenticity, raising self awareness around who you are as a leader, and addresses common challenges women face in owning their own careers.
Gemma believes, "we would all thrive if we had the confidence and environment to be our true selves. Coaching provides a bespoke, tailored solution for people to embrace their true selves, skills and abilities. By creating the time and space for busy individuals to focus on their professional development, they can confidently progress towards their goals." Read more about the programme here...

Read Gemma's latest Blog... Authenticity at work - Is it time to take off the mask?


WISH has a new Managing Director! 

And of course the other exciting news for 2022 is our new Managing Director!  I am so delighted to welcome Lucy Malarkey to the WISH family from January. 
Lucy is founder and Director of Positive About Inclusion, a diversity consultancy, and has worked in social housing in the North East for many years.  Lucy will be leading WISH through its next stages of growth and will do an amazing job.  Please look out for Lucy at events and board meetings and say hello – more from Lucy in the new year.
So that is it for 2021. There are several Christmas events over the next couple of weeks, including our now online national one from London on Thursday 9th with Lara Oyedele and Caroline Pillay so come along for some Christmas inspiration and virtual networking (you are welcome to bring a drink!). 
For our WISH National Christmas Virtual Event
For all our other WISH Events please click here

Thank you to everyone reading this for your dedication to creating
a housing sector where everyone can flourish –
stay safe and have a fabulous holiday period.



Working together for a #homeful world

By Jo Richardson - President of CIH

I am passionate about equality and equity in our society, not only in relation to housing and homelessness research and practice, but also connected to equality for women.  In my day job I am Associate Dean Research and Professor of Housing and Social Inclusion, but I am also co-chair of DMU Women (our university staff network) and I lead our series of menopause cafes and have recently developed menopause at work guidance.  I know the power of women to make a positive change in society and I am thrilled to be a part of the WISH network with the opportunity to share my thoughts with you here... Read more

Please help me to make #homeful a successful campaign.


Benefits of being a Board Member

By Kathryn Gundry
Volunteering on the board for Women in Social Housing is fulfilling in a multitude of ways. I feel like I have been given a voice, and an opportunity to change things. I believe that the work WISH is doing will allow all involved to create a legacy we can all be proud of. Rather than standing by, we are part of an organisation challenging gender inequality and the gender pay gap, by encouraging new and existing female talent... Read more here



Paying it forward: Amy Farr on the importance of mentorship

I am proud to share that I have recently become a Mentor for the Institute of Occupational Health (IOSH) where I will be utilising my knowledge and experience in the industry to support other IOSH members with their professional development. The IOSH Mentoring program provides peer-to-peer learning and encourages members to connect and build relationships with other IOSH professionals. This network of H&S professionals is important not just for collaboration and knowledge sharing but also to provide a safe and secure platform for individuals... Read more


How I rotated into Affordable Housing...

by Victoria Ogilvie Hodge
I started on the JLL Graduate Scheme at nearly 30 years old and found it both a humbling and rewarding experience. It was on this programme, whilst studying for a Master’s in Real Estate, that I rotated into the Affordable Housing department and always joke that I have never rotated out – nor do I plan on doing so now that I am qualified! I have been in the Affordable Development Valuations team since September 2019 and truly relish what I do; I finally feel settled in a corner of the real estate world that just feels right for me. I delight in working in a team dominated by women... Read more 

Movers and Shakers powered by Dixon Walter

Dixon Walter is an executive search firm dedicated to the appointment of outstanding leaders within the Housing Sector. We are passionate about the sector and our commitment to finding diverse and exceptional talent means we always keep our eyes and ears to the ground. Over the last few months, we’ve seen some fantastic appointments!
Women leading the way in housing: let’s champion our success as Dixon Walter take a look at the senior appointments and promotions this year... Read more

2021 Reflections – Stepping into our power and releasing what no longer serves us in 2022.

by Alma Sheren, Greenacre Group
2022 is the year of the Water Tiger. Traditionally, the tiger represents energy, strength, protection, altruism, leadership, purposefulness, respect and revolutionary ideas. Some negative traits it also represents are vulnerability, sensitivity, selfishness, overestimation and an ‘all or nothing’ attitude. As we look behind us one last time at 2021 and reflect on our experiences and personal journeys, there will be a sense of a releasing and letting go... Read more here

Real Estate as part of the bigger picture

by Mary Finnigan, Transaction Director, Civitas Investment Management.
I was lucky enough to be born and raised in the beautiful city of Liverpool, a city known for its fantastic waterfront buildings, the 3 Graces: the Liver Building with its famous birds keeping watch over the ships as they leave the docks, the imposing Cunard Building and the grand Port of Liverpool Building. As a child and now with my own children, we spend our summer holidays in Ireland and as the return ferry winds down the River Mersey, the sight of the 3 Graces is always an emotive one: to me, these buildings represent the hustle and bustle, the character and enterprise of my home city. The buildings are of themselves, of course, beautiful buildings. But what is more important to me is what it is they represent... Read more from Mary here.


If you are looking to fill a job vacancy at your company or need a new Non-Executive Board Member, why not advertise on the WISH website? Let your HR or Recruitment team know as well – it’s FREE for Corporate Plus members and sponsors, costs of £288 inc. VAT per job advert (non-members) or £158.40 inc. VAT per job advert (Corporate members), represent excellent value for money. You’ve nothing to lose. Click here for further information. 



WISH North West had a very successful Women in Leadership event via Zoom on October 20th, with over 60 attendees.  Managed by Jenny Neville with speakers Colette McKune CEO at ForHousing and Nicole Kershaw CEO at One Manchester. Watch the recording here.
WISH North West are very much looking forwards to their first in person event this Christmas at their event on the 9th December. An event for networking, architecture and Christmas drinks at Elizabeth Gaskill House.
To find out more and for further news and events coming soon from WISH North West. Check out their regional web and twitter page or by get in touch with the board!  WISH North West


WISH South East are holding their Christmas Networking event TONIGHT in Bromley with guest speaker Elly Hoult. Group Director of Assets and Sustainability at Notting Hill Genesis.
WISH South East held a fantastic WISH National Event: 'Creating Sustainable Communities and Decarbonisation' with speakers Claire Hamilton from Decorum Housing and Amy Smith from Wates Living Space. If you missed it you can watch it here
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Find out more from WISH South East here


WISH North East have an upcoming January event which is the 2nd in our #WISHlist series focused on ‘Culture’ and sponsored by Karbon Homes. It’sNOW OPEN FOR BOOKINGS!

#WISHlist campaign, what’s it all about? WISH NE launched their #WISHlist campaign in July after 12 months of conversations and events to garner feedback and ideas from their members to really understand “what women want” from the sector and their employers that would help them take control and achieve in their careers. From launch day, we had 12 of our members pledge their support to our #WISHlist, and within 1 month we had bagged our first local authority with Sunderland City Council joining the pledge... Read more here.
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
To find out more about our #WISHlist campaign... WISH North East here


In June WISH London hosted a national women’s safety event led by their board members Jacqueline and Theresa. If you missed it watch the recording for the Women's Safety Event here. For more London news... Read here... 
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year! 
Find out more from  WISH London



At WISH Yorkshire & Humberside, we are joining the Menopause revolution and have created a series of events to help women - and men - in social housing come together to talk, share, learn and create change.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Find out more from WISH Yorkshire & Humberside here 


WISH Midlands are looking for new Board Members! We'd love to hear from you if you're in the region. Please get in touch with us [email protected] 

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Find out more from WISH Midlands here


WISH East held a WISH National Event in August on Leadership in the Pandemic and it was great to have so many members join us. If you missed it, please watch the recording here.
WISH East are currently planning our events for 2022 and the first event we have planned is around Networking in January. Look out for this and further news and events coming soon from WISH East by checking their regional web and twitter page or by getting in touch with the board! 
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Find out more from WISH East here 


THANK YOU to our speakers & sponsors for our #placemaking webinar in the Summer. We were blessed with beautiful visuals, topical discussion & a deep dive into the future of sustainability. Did you miss it? Watch the recording here.
Look out for further news and events coming in 2022 from WISH South West!
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Find out more from WISH South West here 


WISH North Wales region are getting ready for 2022 and are looking for new board members! If you're interested in joining us please get in touch [email protected]
We wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Find out more from WISH North Wales here
Interested in joining WISH? 
We have six membership types allowing membership across more than one region, for further information click here or email [email protected]

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