Profile of Ann Leslie, CEO at LAR Housing Trust

Ann Leslie

Working as a painter and plasterer to pay for a gap year in Canada gave Ann Leslie the keen eye for detail required to be chief executive at LAR Housing Trust.

Ann is a commercial lawyer by profession and is now the Chief Executive of LAR Housing Trust. However, her first job after graduating from Glasgow University had nothing to do with law and perhaps, prophetically, pointed to a future in the housing development sector.

The one time age group hockey international embarked on a gap year touring round Canada, paying for her trip by working as a painter and plasterer – something she says still gives her a keen eye for detail as she tours round prospective sites for LAR!

With her decorating and international sporting career behind her, she returned to Glasgow to begin her legal traineeship with MacRoberts. She specialised in commercial contracts, focusing on joint ventures and public/private partnerships and remained with the firm post qualification and was made a partner in 2004.

In 2009, she then took a three year career break to bring up her three children, which gave her a clear recognition of the importance of what goes on beyond the office, for women in particular.

She resumed her professional career with the Scottish Futures Trust as an Associate Director in the Housing Team dealing with housing initiatives including the setting up of LAR. She was seconded to LAR as Commercial Director and then assumed as Chief Executive by the Board in 2016. She is proud that LAR is achieving much in the sector and has been constituted and funded in an entirely different way to other players in affordable housing.

She is motivated by the strongly held belief that everyone should have a home they are proud of and be excited to show it off to friends and family. She is delighted that the design and build of LAR’s homes ensures they are tenure blind and that the LAR model allows long term tenancies, thus providing stability and security to tenants who are able to make their house their home.

Ann considers the social housing sector to be an ideal environment for women to thrive with flexible working and family friendly policies…but would be interested to see more women in senior roles in the private housebuilding sector.

Catch up with the rest of the Scottish Housing News International Women’s Day feature here.

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