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Update from our Housing Team – April 2023

As Q1 comes to a close, we are pleased to share with you our current and ongoing projects that go beyond our traditional executive search roots.

As we all know, the housing sector continues to face challenging times, so it is important that we work in collaboration to support each other and to share ideas and best practice. Across our team, we continue to build relationships with a broad range of stakeholders in the sector, and we are committed to a variety of added-value projects to expand our knowledge and the diversity of our networks.

GatenbySanderson has enjoyed connecting with Local Authority owned Housing Companies over recent years through executive search and board advisory work, each operating as a commercial entity with varying levels of independence from a Council.

There are many well-established and successful companies, with varying strategic objectives, including build-to-rent, affordable homes and carbon net zero. There have also been some well-publicised failures, often involving governance concerns.

Upon considering how we can further support leaders in this sector, we decided to create the Housing Company Forum, so leaders can build their networks, collaborate and access shared learnings and data, to achieve their objectives quicker. We are pleased to announce our inaugural meeting for founding members will be held on Friday 21st April, 12noon – 1.30pm.

If you are a Chair, Chief Executive, Managing Director or Company Secretary interested in joining, please contact Chantelle Harris, Associate Consultant.

In an increasingly complex and difficult operating environment, collaboration between smaller housing providers has never been more important. Our Board Advisory Partner Zoe Wortley will be joining Rose Klemperer from Devonshires and James Prestwich from Chartered Institute of Housing to discuss how a ‘smalls governance and regulatory’ network could offer syndicated support to the sector across a range of legal, operational, and best practice areas.

The inaugural meeting is due to take place on Monday 24th April, 10.30-12.30. Please follow this link to register your attendance.


The Insight Programme for 2023 is about to be launched with the aim to support individuals from underrepresented groups on their journey to becoming effective Non-Executive Directors. The programme is managed by us, GatenbySanderson, and we provide our time on a pro-bono basis.

Insight arranges for participants to be attached to one or two Boards for a total of around nine months. In each organisation, participants will ‘buddy’ with an existing Non-Executive Director and attend board and subcommittee meetings. Participants will also receive mentoring from the Board Chair during an attachment.

Participants in the programme will most likely start with gaps in their understanding of the sector, or what the role of a Non-Executive Director fully entails. As such, successful applicants will be invited to attend a virtual introductory session on MS Teams which will introduce them to the public and/or not-for-profit sectors and the demands of a Non-Executive role.

In previous years, we have had a significant amount of interest in the Programme, and we are proud to have helped a number of participants commence their board careers.

For further information, or if your organisation would like to register interest, please contact:  Nick Roberts, Principal Consultant or Chantelle Harris, Associate Consultant.

It has been our pleasure over the last few years to support such a key development programme within the housing sector and to work closely with its leaders and the fantastic and talented alumni.

We recognise that there is still a significant amount of work to do in the sector to increase levels of representation and it remains a constant mission for us to ensure that the social housing sector will be the most diverse and inclusive it can be. Our ongoing partnership we have with UNIFY and the development of the LeadershipNOW! programme, as well as our continued support of Leadership 2025, is the momentum for this change.

A continued theme arising, from our networking at the Leadership 2025 event and our regular discussions with UNIFY, is around culture. We will continue to work closely with our clients and candidates, focusing on culture to ensure equity of opportunities and diversity at all levels within an organisation.

If you would like to discuss your equity and inclusion ambitions or hear more about our LeadershipNOW! programme please contact Rosie Gunn, Principal Consultant.

And lastly, for those who aren’t aware of our Interim Leadership practice within Social Housing at GatenbySanderson, we wanted to take this opportunity to introduce you to our team. Whether you are looking for your next interim assignment yourself or are looking to engage an Interim in your organisation, we would like GatenbySanderson to be the first organisation that you think of at that time.

We have an established and successful Social Housing Interim Team that provides interim leadership solutions to a broad range of social housing providers of varied size and scale, supporting organisations when change is afoot and additional resources and skills are required. We provide interim solutions across the whole corporate centre, ranging from CEOs through to Executive Directors and Heads of Service, drawn from various Social Housing, private and public sector organisations.

If you would like to speak to one of our dedicated consultants, in finding out how we can support yourself or your organisation on an interim basis, please do reach out to:

Sophie Younger, Partner. 

Sophie is an enabler in her market and over a career of 24 years, five of those at GS,  specialises in placing Interim Professionals in the Social Housing & Not for Profit sectors. She prides herself on her ability to develop key relationships with senior leaders and board members alike, which is fundamental to the success of influencing change and ultimately providing the best solution for her clients.

Julie Armor, Delivery Consultant

Sophie is supported by Julie Armor, Delivery Consultant, who joined GatenbySanderson in 2021 and also has a dedicated focus within Social Housing. Prior to this Julie has recruited extensively into higher education as well as the wider public sector, providing excellent candidate care and process management.




If you’d like to discuss your current leadership priorities and challenges with one of the Housing team, or you’re interested in taking the next step in your career, please do get in touch by emailing us at

We wish you a refreshing and relaxing Easter break.

Simon Wing (Practice Lead) and the GatenbySanderson Housing Team

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