ATTRACTING a new generation of women into a career in housing should be one of the sector’s key priorities for 2020, according to the Women in Social Housing (WISH).
At a gathering of the group’s members and supporters in London this week, WISH set out its plans to reach more young women and encourage them to choose roles in the sector.
“We’ve got a big job to do to make sure we bring a new generation of talent into our sector,” said Nicola Dibb, co-founder of WISH. “That starts with talking to schools and colleges to make sure pupils understand that housing is a fantastic career, but it also means reaching out to a lost generation of university students who want to make a positive impact on the world and are not sure how best to use their skills.”
A roundtable debate made up of industry experts discussed the challenges facing the sector, and what could be done to attract and retain talent. Issues discussed included:
- The powerful impact that women working in the sector can have by telling their personal stories
- The need to reach out to school, college and university students to make sure that people across the education system understand that housing offers a varied and secure career
- The ability of housing to sell itself as a career where people can have a genuine impact and make a difference in communities
Dibb added: “Throughout 2020 we’ll be focusing our energy on working with our partners in the housing and construction industry to find ways to bring more young women into the sector, making sure we’re speaking through the right channels and sending out a very positive message about the work of social housing.”
The event also included presentations from recruitment specialists Greenacre while Charlotte Pollock from PRP architects explained how telling her story had played a role in attracting more young women to start a career in architecture.
Patrick Murphy, director from chartered surveyors CS2, who attended the event, said: “We are delighted to be at this celebration event as one of WISH’s national sponsors. Being involved not only helps promote our own services to such a wide sector audience, but also supports the powerful work WISH carries out to attract incredibly talented women into the sector and in particular to construction which remains such a challenge for our industry.”
WISH has more than 850 members across the UK and 10 regional networks.
Main Image: WISH founders Debra Constance and Nicola Dibb.