International Women's Day 2023
Better Together - Our Speakers!
1. Lucy Malarky
Make a Wish
Lucy is the Managing Director of Women in Social Housing (WISH), the network for women working across all disciplines of social housing, and one of the Directors and Co-founders of Positive About Inclusion CIC, a not for profit social enterprise, providing EDI training and consultancy services.
Lucy’s career in social housing began way back in 1993, as a postgraduate housing trainee for a local authority in the North East. This was a fantastic opportunity, enabling her to experience all aspects of social housing whilst completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Policy and Management and gaining membership of the Chartered Institute of Housing.
In 2006 Lucy was asked if she would take organisation-wide responsibility for (what was then called) Equality and Diversity alongside her customer-based role. With lots of learning on the journey Lucy took the organisation to go on to receive several awards and accolades including the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index number one position in 2013. The first and only housing association and the first Northern organisation to reach the top spot.
Redundancy in 2020 gave Lucy the opportunity (and push) to enable her to pursue her passion full time and she established Positive About Inclusion.
In 2021 Lucy became the Managing Director for WISH, Women in Social Housing on a one-day a week basis. During her interview process Lucy identified that one of her priorities for WISH was to be inclusive for all women and to use language that recognises non-binary identities.
2. Lynda Louise-Burrell
Museum and...; a place to C things and have R-ha moments. Intrigued!?
The Mayor's Housing Strategy 2017
Lynda’s initial roles in the United States included working as a Design Assistant at Marc Jacobs, where she was responsible for designing clothing and prints for forthcoming seasons, and working on collections tailored for the Japanese market at designer Mark Eisen. After these roles, Lynda became a Fashion Stylist Assistant, where she organised and styled photoshoots for clients such as Italian Vogue, Macy’s and magazines including Hampton’s.
Lynda left the world of fashion and returned to the UK in 2009 to set up a nail spa and nail polish brand with her sister. With two nail spas subsequently set up in two Debenhams stores in Scotland and a flagship nail spa, located in Islington, London their products were sold in major department stores including Selfridges and Debenhams; leading fashion boutiques; independent stores; and internationally in stores in Barcelona and Bilbao.
In 2014 wanting to change focus Lynda’s mother, Catherine Ross, began setting up a ‘museum without walls’ that celebrates and commemorates Caribbean social history and heritage. Wanting to help her mother make the initial arrangements, Lynda planned to spend just a few months working on the museum’s branding and marketing. Lynda now works full-time as the museum’s Creative Director, which involves promoting the museum and its exhibitions by engaging different audiences, establishing professional relationships with artists, curators and other museum staff, and creating exciting future projects.
Museumand partner with a whole range of organisations, from national institutions to grassroots organisations, churches, community centres, and schools to ensure the Caribbean contribution to life in Britain is understood, shared, and celebrated. Such as: The V&A, The National Trust, Museum of London (Docklands), Manchester Museums, Royal Mint Museum, Bank of England Museum, London Transport Museum, The Parliamentary Archives, The British Library, All Souls College-Codrington Library University of Oxford and The University of Oxford.
3. Debi Gardner
A Life of Purpose
Debi has been working in the housing sector for over 20 years, the last 12 with Notting Hill Gensis. Starting as a Housing Officer in west London, she is currently Regional Business Manager working across services in East London and Essex. Outside of work, Debi is one of the most influential women in UK carnival arts. An Executive Officer of the British Association of Steelbands, she is also a Director of the Notting Hill Carnival.
4. Fernene Amour
The Journey is the Destination
I’ve always strived to be free, and self-expression is the closest thing to freedom that we have. Through painting, writing or fitness; the ability to free fall into these forms of expression has led me on a journey of self-discovery that is the destination. Being a creative entrepreneur has been a catalyst in finding freedom within a society that sometimes feels loveless. Translating my sentiments through art is another way that I extend love to others.
5. Sue Wilson-Kaliszewski
Helping our staff survive and thrive during the peri/menopause
The common thread through my working life, initially as an educator, working with young people and teachers, and more recently within social housing, has been about supporting people to grow their individual skills and to thrive in their lives.
I have also applied this to my role within NHG’s Beehive group, particularly with finding ways to support women at NHG dealing with the peri/menopause, allowing them to positively thrive at work.
6. Sophie Collinge
What Trans and Non-Binary employees bring to the workplace
Sophie is an Applications Analyst at Peabody and part of the Peabody LGBTQ+ Network. She has promoted the LGBTQ+ community in the social housing sector as both a speaker at events and in online articles, and helped Peabody promote the development of a Trans and Non-Binary inclusion policy. Since December 2020, Sophie has been a member of the HouseProud board, and recently co-organized a collaboration event between HouseProud and Peabody to encourage social housing organizations to provide a safe and inclusive workplace.
7.Geeta Nanda OBE
Geeta is Chief Executive of MTVH (Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing) a leading national provider of affordable homes to rent and buy. Across a career of nearly 30 years, she has held a variety of leadership roles in the housing sector. Geeta was Chief Executive of Thames Valley Housing for nine years, and then Chief Executive of Metropolitan from October 2017, before the two organisations merged. She established the highly successful market rent subsidiary, Fizzy Living, in 2012.
Geeta has served on the boards of a number of other housing organisations and is Chair of the G15 group of London’s largest housing associations, which collectively provides home to one in ten Londoners and builds a quarter of the capital’s new homes. Geeta is a Board member of the National Housing Federation, a non-Executive member of PRS REIT plc, the UK’s first quoted real estate investment trust to focus on high-quality new-build family homes for the private rental market, and an Ambassador for the charity World Child Cancer.
In 2013, Geeta was awarded an OBE for achievements in social housing, and in 2021 received the ‘Outstanding Individual’ award at the EG Awards in recognition of her achievements and position as a ‘role model’ within the sector
8. Clare Truscott
There's no Place Like Home?
Clare is a trustee of Lambeth Links and ODL ambassador. She's part of the older LGBT+ Brixton Umbrella Circle.
Clare was also a member of the Pride organising committee 1988-1991
9. Thelma Ndaula
Integration, Unity and Equality
I am Thelma Ndaula, a former asylum seeker with lived experience as an LGBTQ+ refugee including homelessness.
I am the Ambassadors Manager for Say It Loud Club as well as the housing coordinator for the SILC integration and resettlement project.
Trained to work with vulnerable people, and passionate about giving back to the community.
10. Anna Williams
Visibility and Allyship
Anna recently joined Moat as their new Diversity and Inclusion Manager. She started her housing career 20 years ago as a Housing Trainee at Wandsworth Council where she subsequently worked as a Homelessness Prevention Officer and then as a Policy and Performance Officer.
From 2014 to early 2023, she was Swan Housing Association’s Housing Diversity Manager / Diversity and Inclusion Manager before moving to her current role at Moat.
Anna is passionate about equality, diversity and inclusion and has, as a straight ally, been an active member and supporter of HouseProud since the start. She was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer during the summer of 2019 at the age of 40 and experienced an early menopause as a result of her cancer treatment which included chemotherapy, radiotherapy and preventative surgery (a mastectomy and reconstruction, and an oophorectomy) which she chose to have when genetic testing identified that she has a mutation in the BRCA1 gene and therefore a high risk of both breast and ovarian cancer.
11. Abi Puddicombe
ABI and FAM Journey
My name is Abi Puddicombe, founder of ABI & FAM Creative Zone.
I discovered jewellery making and craft work after a serious illness and developed them into training sessions for young people and adults.
Knowing that craftwork made a positive impact in my life both physically and mentally, I wanted to pass on that knowledge to other people, everyone has the capacity to learn and I find this inspiring.
12. Arike Oke
Being at the Table and in the Room
Arike Oke is a noted cultural leader, a registered archivist, and curator. She leads the screen heritage collections at the British Film Institute in the role of Executive Director of Knowledge and Collections. Her practice is rooted in social justice and the role of culture in giving strength to, and inspiring, individuals and communities. Formerly she was the Managing Director for Black Cultural Archives, the home of Black British history.
She’s worked in heritage for over 15 years, from the seminal Connecting Histories project in Birmingham, to developing Wellcome Collection’s archive, and co-convening Hull’s first official Black History Month. Her interest in supporting the sector includes assessing funding applications for Wellcome, the Royal Society and the National Archives, assessing impact for REF and judging the 2022 Write on Art Prize.
Her fiction is published in magazines and anthologies. Her critical art writing has been featured in The Girls Are and This is Tomorrow. Her factual writing has appeared in journals. She has written an anti-racism book for children which is to be published in 2022.
Formerly Co-Chair of the Association of Performing Arts Collections, she advises the National Archives, BAFTA, and was a member of the Home Office's Windrush Working Group.
She is a Board member at Notting Hill Genesis, a trustee of Iniva, and is a fellow of the Arts Council’s Museums and Resilient Leadership programme.