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The Parents' Network is an initiative to support parents at Real Estate Balance members as they navigate the pressures of work and parenting or transitioning back to work following a period of parental leave.
The aim of our Network leads, below, is to create a supportive group of colleagues from across the property industry who can provide each other with practical advice and guidance, helping to boost confidence and grow their professional networks.
By drawing on the experience that exists within the industry and identifying and sharing best practice, we can ensure the workplace is somewhere that everyone, including working parents, are encouraged to reach their full potential.
The Network serves as an important sounding board for parents, with online and in-person events designed to fill the knowledge and best practice gaps on a topic which is so relevant to so many people, in our industry and beyond.
We believe the return to work after a period of parental leave represents a critical transition for parents as well as the organisations they work for. To assist during this time, we organise Returners’ Circles where parents can share their experiences, advice, and guidance to support each other.
Parents' Network LinkedIn group
The base for our community is a private group for parents at Real Estate Balance members who want to connect with other parents, hear about the latest events we are holding and share insights and swap practical tips.
Please click here to join our LinkedIn group.
Joining the Network leads
If you would like to express an interest in supporting our brilliant Parents' Network leads in steering the Network, please get in touch with us at email@example.com
Who we are
Jessica Hopewell - Senior Associate, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP
I returned to work in October 2022 after the arrival of my daughter in December 2021. My husband is also a full-time lawyer in the City and we don’t live near our extended family, so balancing work and family life can be a challenge. Having the support of my colleagues and the general shift in working habits post-Covid made a huge difference for me and made the transition back to work much easier than I anticipated.
Rachael Conchie - Senior HR Business Partner, British Land
After bookending the pandemic with maternity leaves, I returned to the office in September 2022 after two-and-a-half years away and I have been attempting to find that bullseye of work-life balance ever since. I joined the Real Estate Balance Parents' Network as I’m keen to both learn and contribute to what more can be done to support parents in Real Estate and to connect with other parents across the industry to identify best practices.
Helen Finnis - Senior Associate, Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
I’m a real estate lawyer based in London, with a particular focus on the renewable energy sector. I had my first child two weeks before the first lockdown in February 2020 and then a second little boy arrived in September 2021, so with the addition of a sabbatical and a period of working from home in between maternity leaves, I spent almost three years out of the office, returning in September 2022. I joined the Parents’ Network Committee to connect with other parents in the property industry as I try to navigate working and parenting after a time away.
Vanessa Cruz-Galarza - Fund Manager, True North Real Asset Partners
I am originally from Peru but have lived in London for nearly two decades. I have two boys coming to the end of primary school and a husband who also works full-time in financial services. Juggling it all can seem overwhelming at times! I decided to volunteer for the Parent's Network to share and promote best practices in our industry and to try to slow down the drain of talent we see with mothers not coming back to work. In my work hours, you can find me discussing carbon sequestration and afforestation opportunities globally. In my free time, you would probably find me baking something.
Alex-Faye Grundy - Associate, DAC Beachcroft
I am a transactional real estate solicitor based in Manchester. Shortly after qualifying in 2020, I went on maternity leave following the arrival of my daughter. On my return to work, I was keen to connect with other parents and to be a part of a support network for those balancing working and family life in the sector. This lead me to join the Parent's Network which provides an open and friendly environment where parents can connect and share their knowledge with one another.
Vickie Tallon - Partner, PwC
I am a real estate partner at PwC focused on audit delivery. Growing up in Liverpool and being the first from my family to go to university has driven me to focus on social mobility and its importance in building a balanced workforce. Being pregnant with my son during the first lockdown, and spending most of my maternity leave in the second lockdown, really highlighted the importance of having networks that we can rely on to support us through periods of transition.
The Parents' Network was previously called the Returning to Work Parents' Network and was launched on 23 February 2021 at the below webinar co-hosted by Real Estate Balance and British Land.
Please click on the links below to read press articles about the launch: