Sunday 13th December 2020
December is a time for reflection and it's natural to look back at 2020 to look at what we have achieved. Clearly the year didn’t pan out how any of us intended and in fact when Emma Hanson reflected that actually pre lockdown, when we could meet people, we actually held two events I think as a board we were quite stunned. In January we held a joint event with North Wales around the Complex Art of Communication with Lynn Williams, how effective communication skills can help to accelerate your career and form stronger working relationships. In March we held an Inspirational Women’s Day Breakfast in conjunction with Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce and the NW Women in Property Network.
Lockdown has considerably changed our offering, as a North West branch our initial concern was for our colleagues and their well being and the change that was affecting us all. We did rise to the rally call of an online WISH offering and the chance for all our members to meet all our branches, and attend all events has brought us all closer together in many ways. We have run a total of five events in lockdown, something which we are immensely proud of. In May we heard from Hayley White on the topic of Resilience; very apt for lockdown. In July we introduced Louise Wyman, Manchester's new Strategic Director of Development who stepped into the shoes of Eddie Smith following his retirement after 20 years. September saw us learn from Helen Reynolds about Social Media Super Powers, and how to Gain Confidence and ‘Make an Impact’. In November we ran a Women in Leadership event, with two inspiring women; Karen Sloan, Managing Director, Heating and Compliance at Liberty (who was told she would never progress beyond a team leader) and Kate Meredith, Head of Customer Safety at Stockport Homes Group (recognised for her leadership in housing in the Women in Housing and Housing24 Awards). Championing and showcasing women’s rise to success within the sector is close to the heart of the North West board and we are keen to ensure we have more and more positive role models for our sector and younger women entering the profession. We continued this theme with our last webinar in December which was led by two women in IT at Aspire Housing, who changed roles and delivered a successful transformational change programme during lockdown, without childcare and whilst home schooling !!
Our Christmas social was a place for us to celebrate our collective success of 2020 whilst chatting with our members about what’s to come for 2021, our hopes and our worries. Our thoughts are that we will still have an online offering for the first half of the year. Ideas so far are around New Year, new you wellbeing and goal setting, perhaps an activity based walking event. We’ll certainly want to continue our women in leadership theme and hopefully broaden this to mentoring, hearing from a mentor and a mentee.
We wish all our members a Happy and Healthy Christmas, and look forward to the challenges that 2021 brings.