Women’s Housing Forum 2018

What does housing have to do with gender inequality? It turns out quite a lot, as one of our Project Workers, Polly Essex, found out when she attended the Women’s Housing Forum first ever inaugural event in January this year.

The Women’s Housing Forum was set up in 2018 to address the challenges that women face in accessing and remaining in housing, through changing the conversation within the housing sector to help confront how gender inequality impacts the housing crisis.

Polly is a Project Worker in Bethany House, one of our all female supported schemes, and is only too aware of the many barriers and inequalities women face when accessing suitable housing. But Polly says she also found the day useful for sharing thoughts and experiences on topics that she wouldn’t regularly come across.

It was great to hear from attendees with lived experience, who now work in the sector, as well as professionals who support women living in the private rented sector as this is an area I do not encounter frequently.

Polly’s key takeaways from the day is the need for diversity amongst housing association Board members, that housing associations need to understand the specific needs of women at the different points in their lives and that the sector as a whole should feel very uncomfortable about the gender pay gap.

At Sapphire we value all our residents as individuals. With this in mind we are firm supporters of the Make a Stand pledge against domestic violence and work with many external agencies throughout the association to support our residents to improve their lives to help them live independently. Groups like the Women’s Housing Forum are a great way for like minded professionals to collaborate and address issues that are important to our residents. As Polly states,

It was inspiring to listen to the experiences, thoughts and ideas of so many women doing fantastic work in the sector and working together to demand change. I look forward to attending the next forum – the work has just begun!

If you find this interesting you may also be interested in Sapphire's upcoming International Women's Day (IWD) event!

Our Bethany House team are hosting our annual IWD event on Friday 8th May. This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter with a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

IWD 2019...

When: Friday 8th March 2019

Where: Bethany House communal hall

Time: 11am - 5pm

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