Sue Shirt: Executive Director, Customer Experience

Sue was awarded Woman of the Year: Tenant/Customer Focus in October 2019 at the Women in Housing awards.

Tell us about your journey at Stonewater

Sue Shirt

I was part of the team that established Stonewater in 2015. Housing is in my blood, I have been privileged to devote my professional life to a sector that I love. I tell my kids if you are as lucky as I am to work in a service that makes you feel so very proud you have made it.

My role has matured, bit like me, there is a much bigger focus on customers, on the use of technology and its impact on the way we deliver and meet modern expectations. We have a moral responsibility to deliver services as efficiently as we can and in a way that empowers tenants and colleagues to be the best they can be. That way we make the most of scarce resources.

Working in an ambitious yet ethical business like Stonewater brings expectations and opportunities to think differently and push personal and business boundaries. I can be myself but I am encouraged to be more. I love it.

Tell us about your role and why it's important to you

My role is to manage and influence the business from a customer’s perspective, challenging the way we work. I am pretty grounded and having worked my way up through operational roles I hope I’m approachable to customers and colleagues. It still makes me angry when services fail and real people are affected, or disrespected. I read all customer e mails that are sent to me and have worked hard to get the right people in the team to both sort things out and to feed the learning into services so we don’t do it again. Without the team I am nothing. They are my heroes.

How does it feel to have won a Women in Housing Award?

Shocked and a bit embarrassed but warm and proud – especially as it is for customer focus. My kids were so pleased, they have lived with my passion, soap box rants and long hours, so maybe they deserve it more than me.

Where do you see your role in the future?

Supporting the next generation of women to be the best they can, to be brave and ambitious and to make a difference to the lives of customers. Oh and to bask in their success. Our legacy must be to develop and support our successors. I am immensely proud of those coming through to take my place.