Thursday 19th October 2017
Heidi Thompson is Director of Property at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing (KNH), having over 25 years of experience within the social housing sector and the construction industry. A building surveyor by profession, she has responsibility for managing and growing the KNH Property Directorate, which currently has an annual turnover in excess of £60m, and she manages approximately 600 staff. Heidi is a Member Director of Efficiency North, as well as being co-founder and Chair of the Yorkshire and Humber branch of Women in Social Housing (WISH).
Heidi Co-founded Women in Social Housing Yorkshire and Humber
“I decided to set up the Women in Social Housing group for Yorkshire and Humber region following a conversation with co-founder Karen Temple, managing director for NPS in Barnsley. We were at a dinner and mentioned how much we hated turning up to an event where we were usually the only women in the room. Most in attendance were part of the boring ‘grey suit, grey hair’ brigade with little diversity and struggled to get good connections and contacts.
We also found some of the other networks available a little serious and intimidating, so we got in touch with WISH and the Yorkshire and Humber branch was born! We have gone from strength to strength in the two years it has been in place and have a great reputation with a credible network. We never exclude men from our events as we know we need their support to help change attitudes and reduce the gender gap in our sector.
Our board has some amazing women that range from experienced directors to young women who are just beginning their careers. The network is there to help support women to grow and develop into anything they want to be. I have personally met some wonderful people, made some great friends and seen my own confidence grow thanks to the excellent opportunities WISH brings.”
Please read her blog on Womanthology.co.uk of how she is Breaking the mould of a traditional ‘boys club’.