Property People: Women in Property and Yorkshire Housing

Women in Property has announced its incoming Yorkshire and North East branch chair for 2021/22.

Kate Girling has taken the role as regional head of the property and construction industry influencer and networking organisation from 1 March, for one year.

Girling, who has been a member of Women in Property for 12 years and on the committee for three, is a senior planner at Rural Solutions based in Skipton.

In her current role, she specialises in advising on and delivering a range of high quality rural developments and diversification projects.

Rural Solutions also specialises in ‘paragraph 79’ houses of exceptional and innovative design, having successfully achieved a number of consents across the UK.

In her forthcoming year, Girling will help grow the work Women in Property has been doing across the country, addressing workplace issues including flexible working patterns, mentoring women at all stages in their career, supporting women returners and mental wellbeing.

She said: “It has been a very difficult year for a lot of people, as we have all had to adapt to change and tackle new challenges.

“I am looking forward to working with the committee over the next 12 months to continue to offer our support to members and provide a great programme of events.

“Great strides have been made in this industry, but we know work still needs to be done to challenge stereotypes, celebrate diversity, champion role models and achieve a more balanced workplace.”

Joanne Halton, head of planning at Rural Solutions, added: “We are hugely supportive of Kate as she takes on the role of chair of Women in Property for Yorkshire and the North East.

“We are great advocates of greater diversity in the industry. At present 56% of all Rural Solutions employees are female. We look forward to supporting Kate’s efforts over the coming year.”

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Cath Owston

Yorkshire Housing has announced appointments to two new executive director roles as part of a shakeup of its Leadership Team.

Cath Owston has been appointed as executive director customer experience and Andy Gamble is the new executive director growth and assets.

The Leadership Team has been created to ensure Yorkshire Housing meets its ambitious growth plans and strategy.

The two executive directors have over 60 years combined housing sector experience and will work on longer-term planning and strategy, to ensure Yorkshire Housing meets its objective of revolutionising the way it works.

CEO Nick Atkin said: “I’m delighted Cath and Andy have been appointed to these new roles. They both bring the experience and expertise to realise the challenging and exciting plans within our business strategy.

“We want to make it possible for our customers to have a place they’re proud to call home. This means putting customers right at the heart of what we do, as well as our plans to build thousands of new high quality and affordable homes.

“The executive directors are vital to making sure we achieve this and become one of the most dynamic, forward thinking and innovative housing associations in the country.”

Owston has over 30 years’ experience in housing and has recently been interim director of customer services at Yorkshire Housing.

She has previously held director posts at Rochdale Borough Housing and New Charter Trust Group and was transformation manager at Trafford Housing Trust. She is also currently a board member at Bolton at Home and chair of the Development Committee.

Andy Gamble

Gamble has over 30 years’ experience in the affordable housing sector working with a variety of public and private organisations.

Since 2017 he has been director of development at Yorkshire Housing. He is a chartered surveyor and member of the Chartered Institute of Housing. Gamble also chairs Harrogate Housing Association, a smaller community based housing provider.

In addition to Owston and Gamble, Yorkshire Housing will add an executive director of finance and governance. The recruitment for this has now started.

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