The Women's Affordable Housing Network (WAHN) is an organization committed to the empowerment and development of women who work in affordable housing. Their goal is to create a nationwide network that brings women together from all sectors to carry out its mission. We're excited that employees from two CAHEC entities (Sadie Nott of CAHEC, as well as Maile Miller and Andrea Wolford of CAHEC Properties Corporation) have all played an integral role in the creation of their respective affiliates in North and South Carolina, and currently serve on the leadership teams for each.
When asked why WAHN was important to them, they each emphasized the importance of having a network where they can grow professionally while supporting each other. "So much of the affordable housing industry, particularly on the finance and development side, is male-dominated," explained Sadie Nott, Acquisitions Manager for CAHEC. "WAHN provides opportunity for professional development and connection for women in our industry who may not otherwise be able to see a pathway for themselves."
Camaraderie of this kind is important in the niche industry of affordable housing, and although a lot of women in the network are competitors, they find it comforting to know that WAHN is a place they can go for ideas, encouragement, and fun. “When I was first introduced to WAHN during the Georgia Affordable Housing Coalition Conference, I was impressed with the amount of knowledge that was shared amongst the group,” Andrea Wolford, Manager, Development of CAHEC Properties Corporation said. “From attorneys to architects, to developers and property managers, everyone has something to contribute, and it’s important for us to help each other stay informed.”
While this group is intended to encourage women in the industry to network and support each other, all gender identities are encouraged to join and be part of the discussion. “While I was serving at the booth during the North Carolina Housing Conference earlier this year, I had males coming up to get our business cards for their female colleagues who were not in attendance,” shared Maile Miller, Development Analyst for CAHEC Properties Corporation. “It’s inspiring to know that we’re supported and appreciated for the work we do through this network, and that there is representation for women in our industry.”
We’re so proud of the work Sadie, Andrea, and Maile are doing for WAHN and look forward to following their success in the future. If you’d like to learn more about WAHN, or find out if there is a chapter in your state, please visit their national website.