Byker Community Trust (BCT) housing association, which owns and manages 1,800 homes on the iconic Grade II* Listed Byker Estate in Newcastle, has strengthened its Board by announcing two new female appointments.
In addition to the appointment of Geraldine Kay as Chair of the Board at the AGM in September, the organisation has also welcomed Nicola Snowdon and Caroline Prince.
Nicola joins as a tenant board member and has lived on the Byker Estate for 37 years. She works as a family support worker for Barnardo’s and will support residents and empower them to improve their lives. Her goal is to help with the future development of the Estate and the community and to promote equality, diversity and inclusion for all residents.
Fellow tenant board member, Caroline has also been appointed into the role and has lived in the Byker Wall for almost ten years. She has experience of working in education and children’s social care with Local Government and has excellent connections to local businesses located around Byker and the Ouseburn Valley.
BCT’s Board comprises 12 non-executive members including independent professionals, council members and tenants. The appointments of Geraldine, Nicola and Caroline bring the total number of positions now occupied by female members to seven, which is significantly more than the housing sector average.
In a recent (2019) survey of 300 housing associations published by Inside Housing on 21 November 2019, of those who responded, the proportion of male Board members was 59% compared to 41% female. BCT has reversed that trend with the appointments of Nicola and Caroline.
Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT, said:
“Women are typically under-represented at Board level and that is proven with the results from this recent survey by Inside Housing. It is pleasing to see that BCT is leading the way and addressing the gender imbalance. Board members are appointed on the skills and experience they can bring to the role and the relevance of helping BCT to achieve its objectives, regardless of their gender.
“We have a strong representative of skill sets right across the Board and both Nicola and Caroline’s experience and roles they already play within the community will add further value to that. Our Board is committed to leading and delivering on our vision for 2020 and beyond by making Byker an Estate of Choice – an area where people choose to live, work and play.
“I would personally like to welcome them to the Board and look forward to working with them and delivering our customer priorities.”
Since it was established in July 2012, BCT has committed £35m worth of improvements and has plans to invest a further £12m by 2025.