Written by
8th March, 2019

#IWD2019 Today is International Women's Day, with the theme Balance for Better. We're inspired by our Chief Executive, Paula and wanted to share her story.

Looking back on her career, Paula Kennedy said;

"Lots of people say that they ended up working in housing by accident, that they never knew what a housing association was, that they didn’t know what the job was about. I on the other hand did a degree in housing and from then on knew that I wanted my career to be in housing. My first job was as a Housing Officer for a small specialist association based in London called Housing for Women, we housed single women across 11 different London authorities. It was a great job and I loved it. From there I worked for one of London’s largest associations L&Q and since then I’ve spent time in a number of organisations in both England and Wales.

From early in my career I knew that one day I wanted to be a Chief Executive and I’m so lucky to have achieved that with Melin. Not lucky to be a Chief Executive, that came through hard work, but lucky to have ended up working with such a great bunch of people who do such a great job. But housing associations in Wales break the rules when it comes to Chief Executives, because women make up over 50% of them. Female chief executives in the FTSE 100 are still outnumbered by bosses called David!

In my monthly message to staff I reminded everyone that International Women's Day is celebrated annually on March 8 and that this year the campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter - is a call-to-action for driving gender balance. And I asked you to ask yourself how will you help make a difference? You might think that you can’t make a difference, but you’d be wrong. It can be as simple as encouraging the young people that you know that: women can be electricians and men can be nurses; women can be Chief Executives and men can look after their children; women can be pilots and men can be cabin crew.

Research shows that gender balanced teams produce more sustained and predictable results, so why wouldn’t we try and achieve it? Remember a balanced world is a better world."

We hope you have a great #IWD2019.


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