The Non-Birthing Parenting Perspective: Navigating Careers and Caregiving

Date: Wednesday 12th June 2024
Time: 12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Location: Weightmans, 1 Hardman Street, Hardman Square, M3 3EB
Cost: £20 non-member / FREE member
Member Event

Brought to you by the pro-parent committee

Join us on 12th June for a lively panel discussion on the experiences of non-birthing parents, brought to you by the Pro Parent committee. We will hear from a range of inspiring professionals, each bringing a unique perspective, as they lift the lid on how they’ve tackled the challenges of balancing parenthood with a busy career and made positive changes to support a successful work and family life.

As with all our events, we are keen to build a supportive and inclusive community of like-minded people, so all are welcome. Our fantastic line-up of panellists are looking forward to sharing their hints and tips for all parents who struggle with the juggle!

Book your tickets now and join the conversation.


About the Speakers:

Lee Chambers Business Psychologist, Coach & Founder - Essentialise Workplace Wellbeing

After a diverse career, including time in corporate finance, elite sports and the third sector, alongside scaling a videogame business, he has brought his knowledge and lived experience together to support companies in creating equitable culture, psychologically safe spaces and effective wellbeing strategies.

This has been borne from his own lived experience, which has included mental health challenges, time as a stay at home Dad, and learning to walk again in 2014 after illness.

He can often be found speaking about gender equity, employee experience and male allyship, and is the current Great British Entrepreneur of the Year for Service Industries.

George Crawshaw Commercial Partnerships Manager - Sale Sharks

I am George, the Commercial Partnerships Manager at Sale Sharks Rugby Club. I work across all commercial opportunities for the club, from bringing new sponsors/ partners on board to managing a team of hospitality sales rock stars! I have recently welcomed my son Henry into the world with my partner Alexandra which has been one of the most rewarding experiences, and I’m loving every second of being a new dad! In between all the swimming classes, baby sensory and park runs, my passion in life is Golf. I worked in the golf industry for over 15 years prior to joining sharks, but for obvious reasons (Henry) my game has taken a bit of hit recently! I am joining the Pro Parent committee to expand my knowledge of parenting and to pass my learnings on as a new parent whilst balancing a busy role.

Colette Morgan-Ford Construction/Product & Innovation Partner - Weightmans LLP

Colette has worked in private practice for over 25 years.  She has a dual role at Weightmans LLP: (1) Partner on the Construction team (specialising in dispute resolution); (2) Product & Innovation Partner for the Built Environment and ESG teams and in that role Colette sits at the intersection of client, operations and innovation and develops market leading tech driven products and solutions for clients.

Colette and her civil partner,  Vanessa, are Mums to twins who they adopted over 10  years ago.  Colette  is a vocal diversity advocate (e.g. panel speaker on LGBTQ+, women in leadership, and parenting) and is  proud to be a Weightmans D&I Champion.  She is delighted by the ongoing positive shift towards a legal profession and built environment industry that has more diversity, equality and inclusion (including at the most senior levels).  Colette is a visible senior role model who empowers people to bring their authentic self to work without feeling hampered by any perceived differences.  Talent is diverse!

Time with her children is precious but at times very challenging (teens with special needs).  Colette gets her ‘mental well-being’ fix from cycling at the velodrome on the road or in the mountains, or blowing off steam on a run.  She also occasionally forces herself to switch off and practice yoga (which she finds much harder than cycling and running)!

Dr Carl Austin-Behan OBE DL GM LGBTQ+ Community Ambassador – LGBT Foundation / Managing Director – VA Clean Ltd -

Dr Carl Austin-Behan OBE DL is a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and former LGBT Advisor to the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham. Currently Greater Manchester’s LGBTQ+ Community Ambassador with LGBT Foundation This role sees him visiting schools, youth groups and workplaces to promote diversity, equality, inclusion and respect as well as working on projects with Community Action, Public Sector Liaison and LGBTQ+ Networks across GM.

Carl was one of the last people to be discharged from the RAF in 1997 due to his sexuality although having an exemplary service record. He  joined Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service in 1998 and left 1999, then went on to win Mr Gay UK 2001.

Having served on Manchester City Council representing Burnage from 2011 – 2018, was lead member for LGBT issues within the City Council. Carl was the first openly gay Lord Mayor of Manchester 2016 – 2017. Also owns his own Cleaning Company VA Clean – working with Property Management Companies specialising in the communal areas of apartment blocks.

Carl has devoted himself to LGBTQ+ advocacy. Ambassador for The Proud Trust, George House Trust, Broughton House; Patron of Contact Theatre, Manchester Pride chourus; Trustee for Fighting with Pride (LGBT veterans charity run by veterans. The first and only lived-experience charity addressing the health and wellbeing of LGBT+ veterans.) he passionately promotes diversity, equality and inclusion within our communities. Carl was awarded the OBE in the 2020 New Years Honours for services to charity and LGBTQ+ Equality & Inclusion.

In April 2019, his daughter Willow was born where Carl & his husband Simon are carrying out duel parenting with a lesbian couple.

November 2019, was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of Greater Manchester and was awarded  the OBE in the 2020 Queens New Year’s Honours List for services to Charity and the LGBTQ+ Community.

Joanne Grobbelaar Strategic Business Consultant & Coach -

Joanne is a strategic business consultant, coach and facilitator. She brings over two decades of business experience combined with an innate acumen of effective leadership skills to help high-achieving business owners and senior executives build profitable businesses.  This is delivered through her Four-step Success System; ‘Stop, Pause, Think, Now Act’ – a programme aimed at giving business owners and senior executives the tools to grow emotional intelligence, drive profitability and maximise growth.

Joanne is fiercely passionate about seeing her clients’ businesses grow. As a visionary, her success is founded on her ability to draw on her natural skills of leadership, facilitation, strategic thinking, persistence, humour, discretion, and unstoppable determination.

In 2019, Joanne launched the All-In Podcast, interviewing business leaders on their journey to success. Last year, she launched ‘Money Can Be Your Love Story’ as part of her immersion days programme. Joanne firmly believes that regardless of relationship status, it’s essential to have responsibility and knowledge about one’s wealth.

Joanne spent 20 years in the corporate sector, working as Head of Division for a Live Events Company before being promoted to General Manager. She was Account Director for one of the world’s largest airlines, responsible for landing the business a seven-figure global deal.

In 2019, Joanne launched the All-In Podcast, interviewing business leaders on their journey to success. Last year saw the launch of ‘Money Can Be Your Love Story’ as part of her programme of immersion days, as Joanne firmly believed that regardless of relationship status, having responsibility and knowledge around your wealth is essential. A little-known fact is that she is a European sailing champion.


Interested In The Event?

If you’re interested in attending, you can book online here.

For any further enquires about this event, contact [email protected]

With thanks to our Partners: