It’s very easy to forget the beginning. Because of how far we’ve come. Even more reason to document how and why we started. As a reminder to ourselves but also as an insight for you.
The birth of WISH was the brain-child of our founder Nicola Dibb, whom at the time was working for Notting Hill Housing Trust, and saw an opportunity to champion and build a positive community with other professional women in the public and private housing sector: through bespoke networking events.
It was some years later when Nicola’s vision become a reality in 1998, as the idea grew legs and came to life. That vision was to create a networking group just for professional women in the sector, creating opportunity for everyone through shared experiences and an understanding of the value of networking. The group was small and low key, based in London. Nicola thought about calling it Women In Social Housing (WISH) which immediately resonated and became the well known brand it is today.
It was then in 2002, that Nicola joined forces with Debra Constance who herself had been to one of the events, and who understood like Nicola, that there was power in the collective. Debra identified that there was an opportunity to develop the concept further by taking the small informal networking group and building a community of regional hubs across the UK. Regions all hosting insightful and inspirational events for paying members.
WISH has evolved greatly since it first began, and we now have over 500 subscribed members spanning across 10 regions in the UK. We are delighted to also now be, as of July 2019, a Community Interest Company (CIC) with a commitment to: attracting new female talent into the UK housing sector, supporting women’s career progression, working towards gender equality and reducing the gender pay gap.
Focused on championing positive and beneficial outcomes for all women regardless of role or experience, WISH has been established to engage with women in both the public and private sector.
At WISH every individual and every region works with you in mind, our member. By providing an engaging calendar of informative and entertaining events, we offer you a minimum of 4 events per year on topics ranging from confidence building, influencing, public speaking, social media tips, enlightening talks on relevant current issues as well as personal tales of how speakers built their careers in the housing and construction sectors.
We’re committed to helping you to unlock your networks by breaking the traditional mould with a range of friendly and relaxed networking events, where you can be your authentic self and in a safe environment. Including our annual get togethers at the CIH Conferences in Manchester and Brighton.
Our passion is for our collective community at WISH CIC. As a Community Interest Company, we are managed by a Main Board of Directors who are committed to leading WISH at a strategic level with Nicola taking the lead as Executive Director, and Debra as Chair.
WISH is a fun networking community offering encouragement and support for every woman, just like you
Networking the WISH way ‘It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.’