North Star welcomes residents of Darlington Housing Association - Find out more
Stockton based housing association North Star is known for doing things a little differently, their people-centric approach and culture of shared leadership sets them apart from the rest. But that’s not the only thing that makes this organisation unique; heading up the business is an all female Executive Team including the Chief Executive.
North Star really is challenging stereotypes, from changing the face of social housing to bucking the trend on women in leadership roles within the housing sector. According to the Women in Social Housing network only 22% of the 100 largest Housing Associations are led by women and other research shows that fewer than one in 10 executive directors at Britain’s top companies are female.
So an all female Executive Team at North Star shows they’re not afraid to do things differently, and the results speak for themselves. North Star has grown from strength to strength and is not showing any signs of slowing down. North Star brings together the skills, resources and values of its three very successful subsidiaries. The company is committed to leading and growing, and strives to make a difference. Their vision, values, and organisational strategy are all centred on creating and sustaining great places for people to live and work.
North Star places people at the forefront of everything they do, and this has been central to their success. This year, North Star received recognition from the Responsible Business Awards for their courageous approach to structuring the organisation, where wellbeing was positioned at the centre. North Star won the BUPA Wellbeing at Work Award for dramatically increasing employee wellbeing, engagement and business surplus, by introducing new ways of working and giving staff a greater say in how the company is run. This adds to their three star award from the Sunday Times Best Companies, who described them as extraordinary with a 14th placing in their list. Having held the gold Investors in People award for over 12 months now, this ambitious team are seeking a platinum award when they next seek accreditation.
This strong, female Executive Team are not afraid to take risks, and their courageous change process, involving the distribution of leadership more widely, involving more people in decision making, creating more trust and great relationships is a clear success. Much has been achieved as a result of this relational approach. North Star increased its business surplus by 83% over the last four years, it registers 90% + customer satisfaction, absence rates have reduced from 4.85% to 1.5% and have the highest ratings from its regulator.
As the Chief Executive of North Star, Angela Lockwood recognises the importance of great relations to make the business stronger. “The cultural change programme is one of the most challenging processes I have ever been involved in, as the change starts at the most senior level, and it’s essential that the CEO leads the way. If you want to truly be a workplace of tomorrow, believe that current organisational models are limited, you care about the health and wellbeing of people in a fast changing environment and traditional methods are simply not delivering, then this is the way forward.”
Angela’s enthusiasm and drive to make a difference speaks to the importance of the company’s tagline, “Creating homes, building futures.”