Tag Archive: Sally Hart

Sally Hart: Inspiring Northern Talent

Late last year, Sally Hart, Operations Director at George F. White, was announced as the firms first female equity partner; breaking the mould in a typically male orientated industry.

Sally was originally appointed as Head of Communications in 2014. Six months into her, she was invited to join the Board following the way she had transformed the communications of the business, with teams working better together internally and the firm maintaining a prominent and consistent external profile. In what was largely a natural progression for Sally, she became Operations Director in January 2017, a position she’s now held for over two years. Sally’s first move as Operations Director was to conduct a full business review, since then, she has restructured the business in a way that has created a positive difference to its people; improving their confidence, career opportunities and rewards, which has led to the pinnacle of her career – an invitation from the Group to become equity partner in recognition of the role she plays within the business.

Sally Hart

Speaking about Sally’s success, Managing Partner Robyn Peat, said: “The amount Sally has achieved in such a short space of time is phenomenal. In her first 18 months as Operations Director, she introduced key initiatives, from improving employee well being, strengthening client care and streamlining how the business is managed internally; that has transformed how we operate, creating a stronger, more successful business model which puts people at the centre of what we do to enable consistent growth and development. As a young female director, Highly Commended at the recent Institute of Director Awards and North East Business Woman of the Year Awards, now Equity Partner, Sally also started a family during such a crucial time in her career, she breaks the tradition in the sector and represents a positive and powerful role model, not only to women in our industry, but women in business across the Northern region. Sally doesn’t just look after the business side of things, but the people who make the business a success too – and that’s a rare talent.”

When asked about her experience of being a woman in business within the North East, Sally said: “I personally have never felt that I have been disadvantaged in business for being a woman, however, I have experienced perceptions towards me, whether that be age or gender,” she continued, “The biggest perception, for me, is that as soon as you start a family, your career is over – this is simply not true. I started my own family within my first year as Operations Director and have since been invited to become an equity partner. I truly believe that you define your own success; if you have a strong skill set and ambition then it is all about finding the opportunity or business that will support your development and growth. We should be very proud of the support network that exists for both business women and men in the region; it is right that we actively encourage and champion one another.”

Sally believes that people are at the heart of everything, therefore is concentrating on engaging with young talent, ensuring that George F. White develop the next generation of their team, both male and female, to be the best they can be.

Speaking about diversifying the industry, Sally said: “I hope to help inspire other women in business, demonstrating to them that there is opportunity to excel in whatever industry you work within. The business landscape is forever changing, becoming increasingly competitive and chaotic both at the same time. I truly believe that this presents a great opportunity to push forward the mutual business desire, cross-sector, to create level playing field and equality for all to succeed.”

Sally Hart: Meet our newest Equity Partner

Sally Hart, Operations Director at George F. White, is the first female Board member to become an Equity Partner, following the instrumental role she has played in the restructuring of the business. Sally has orchestrated a significant organisational change for the consultancy which has reaped benefits both internally and externally.

Sally Hart Robyn PeatWelcoming Sally to the Partnership, Robyn Peat, Managing Partner, said: “The amount Sally has achieved in such a short space of time is phenomenal. In her 18 months as Operations Director, she has introduced key initiatives, from improving employee wellbeing, strengthening client care and streamlining how the business is managed internally, that have transformed how we operate, creating a stronger, more successful business model which puts people at the centre of what we do to enable consistent growth and development. As a young female director, Highly Commended at the recent Institute of Director Awards, and now Equity Partner, who also started a family during such a crucial time in her career, she breaks the tradition in the sector and represents a positive and powerful role model not only to women in our industry, but women in business across the North East region. Sally doesn’t just look after the business side of things, but the people who make the business a success too – and that is a rare talent.”

Sally has led the business through a period of consolidation since joining the Board, as plans are put in place for ambitious growth in the next two to three years. She initially joined the business in 2014 as Head of Communications before progressing to Operations Director in early 2017.

Talking about her appointment as Equity Partner, Sally added: “I am delighted to join the GFW Partnership. As a young female in a senior leadership role in a typically male dominated sector, I hope to set an example to other women in business, demonstrating to them that there is opportunity to excel in whatever industry you work within. Speaking from my own experience, it’s so important to champion what you do, and I want to continue to work with women inside and outside of our business to help, coach and inspire them to reach their full potential. As the business continues to grow from strength to strength it’s an exciting time to join the Partnership and be part of George F. White’s future.”

George F. White – Hoults Yard

We are thrilled to have opened a Newcastle office to bolster our planning presence as well as cater for the continued growth of our commercial property offering in the North East. The office is based at Hoults Yard, a modern and vibrant office and studio complex situated in the Ouseburn area of Newcastle, which is home to a wide range of successful corporate and creative businesses.

Sally Hart, Operations director says: “Opening our Hoults Yard office is a key part of our strategic growth objective in the region, as we look to continue to develop our offerings in our planning and development, commercial and energy sectors. We have historically been known for our farm and rural business services, however, market developments have seen an increase in demand for our more urbanised business offerings.”

Commercial focus

Sally continues: “Of course, our traditional sectors are still important to us but we are now widening our scope to reflect the ever-changing landscape for businesses like ours, which provide significant specialist consultancy services in a varied range of sectors.”

George F. White has continued to expand and evolve since it was established nearly 40 years ago. Following successful growth, the Group is now a multi-disciplined and diverse consultancy that employs more than 120 people in eight locations from the Scottish Borders down to North Lincolnshire.

A key area of the business that has experienced consistent and strong growth is planning and development. The planning and development team has grown its services considerably as it now accounts for nearly 20 per cent of the company’s overall turnover with the team seeing increases in different types of planning and development needs from clients across the UK. There has been a particular demand for the in-house architectural service where there has been an increase in high-profile jobs within the educational and commercial sectors.

Like other teams across the business, the planning and development team has worked hard to diversify themselves from George F. White’s traditional rural client base to break into the urban market, which is a radical shift for the business. For example, it is now working on renewable energy projects for clients and also partnering with a number of the UK’s largest house builders, providing services nationwide.

The energy team has strengthened its position within the market and now has an impressive figure of 57 500kw turbines under its belt – taken from production to management. It has also developed a reputation based on good, knowledgeable advice and guidance for clients on many energy-related issues including planning, project feasibility and business management. As changes to UK energy policy have got underway, the team has been dedicating resources to understanding where the market has shifted and advising clients appropriately.

People-driven culture

With the opening of the Newcastle base, a key business priority for George F. White is to continue to grow our reputation further across all of our sectors by recruiting specialists into the expanding team. We are recruiting across the business in a number of services and geographical areas and information about vacancies can be found here.

“We’re a very people-driven business, which is also why the Newcastle base is a great move for us,” Sally says. “A key part of the George F. White culture is the personal and professional development of our people across the business. Our main objective is to provide opportunities to all our employees so that they can constantly strive to develop which, in turn, delivers for our clients.
“Hoults Yard is a great place to be and it also provides a better work/life balance for the team who often spend time commuting to our more rural offices from their homes which are closer to the city. By providing the right environment and tools to excellent people – the team – we’re able to give the right guidance and support to clients.”

Our people-led ethos is reflected in the recent Information and Communication Technology (ICT) overhaul across the business. George F. White has grown rapidly over the last few years and therefore required an ICT infrastructure to match. The business now boasts a centralised hybrid ‘on-premises’ model with some services in a private cloud, and some elements in the public cloud. This has been particularly effective in connecting the more rural offices and means that staff and clients can collaborate easily as the business continues to evolve.

Robyn Peat, managing partner, adds: “Having been operating within George F. White for almost 30 years, it is fantastic to see that the business is continuing to evolve with its people at the centre. Recent developments have created further exciting prospects and have reinforced our decision to ensure the team are equipped with the tools they need to continually achieve, whether that be a new office space, ICT infrastructure or, more simply, personal development; we believe this drives growth and prosperity.”

If you would like to contact our Newcastle Planning and Development, Energy or Commercial teams please call 0191 605 3480.

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