Wednesday 11th July 2018
WISH has marked its 20th year with a rebrand giving the organisation a fresh new look and providing the regional branches with a stronger individual identity.
Set up by Nicola Dibb and Debra Constance in 1998 as an informal group where women could meet and network in an inclusive and supportive environment WISH embraced the different way that women communicate, creating safe spaces for making connections, exploration, personal development and learning.
It has grown organically over the past 20 years and now has eight regions, 500 members and up to 3,000 other women and men who support the network and attend events, with networking and building connections remaining at the heart of what it does.
The new branding was unveiled at a glittering drinks reception held at the Manchester Hilton’s Cloud 23 cocktail and champagne bar during the Chartered Institute of Housing’s 2018 conference and exhibition.
The event, which was sponsored by Kier, Hough Bellis Communications, ConnectIn Events, JLL, Pellings and Trowers & Hamlins, was attended by nearly 100 people from across the sector.
Debra opened the event, talking about the origins of WISH before handing over to guest speaker, Helen Evens, chief executive of Network Homes, who recalled her experiences starting out in the sector.
Nicola outlined WISH’s work over the past 20 years and the important role that it plays in supporting women within the sector and how the regions are the ‘life blood’ of delivering services for WISH members across the country and they all get their own unique colour identity as part of the rebrand. Joel Sampson, sales manager at Resource, the company behind the new look, talked guests through the rebrand process.
WISH has come a long way since those early days and its modern new look reflects the future direction of the organisation which uniquely brings together women from social housing and construction – private and public sectors – and has built a reputation for uniting women across all disciplines. The new brand positions WISH as The Network…for all women working social in housing and the main new logo represents the supportive nature of The Network – showing four people linking hands with a ‘W’ in the centre.
“The sector’s gender complexion now is very different to 20 years ago, and WISH is proud to be part of that legacy of change but there is still work to be done if we are to truly combat inequality and break down the barriers that are holding women back,” said Nicola.
“As we enter our 20th year, we continue to support women working within the sector with a focus on addressing career progression, challenging stereotypes and barriers and encouraging successful behaviour. We are also working to raise the profile of the housing and construction sectors as a career choice to the next generation of women, when they leave school, college or further education.
“It is all about confidence, which is an issue that we tackle again and again at our events. We want to help women to find their voice, realise the transferable skills that they possess and the tangible benefits they bring to organisations by thinking and communicating differently.
“It’s not who you know its who knows you and we look forward to the next 20 years of supporting women to make those connections.”