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THP Webinar - Why Fertility Matters at Work

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Event information
Date 11 May 2023
Time 11:00-12:30 (Timezone: Europe/London)
Venue Online
Event types:

We’re running this session because…

It’s a topic that impacts more people than perhaps is realised. For example…

  1. Infertility affects around 1 in 6 couples in the UK
  2. Infertility is not just a female issue – men account for around half of all infertility issues
  3. Nearly 1 in 6 births using IVF were donor conceived
  4. Same-sex relationships and single patients have driven the increase of children born from donor sperm
  5. The number of parents having a baby using a surrogate in England and Wales has almost quadrupled in the last 10 years


  • To help individuals know how to deal with this in their workplace and how to have the best conversations with colleagues and peers to get support
  • To raise awareness of the physical, mental, emotional and financial struggles an employee experiences when trying to grow their family while facing difficulties
  • To help managers, leaders and colleagues to better understand and support those in the workplace who are experiencing these challenges – including the importance of creating the right team culture and a psychologically safe space to talk


In this webinar we will discuss the many routes to parenthood, explaining what infertility is and why people need fertility treatment and how common it is. We will highlight alternative routes to parenthood for the LGBTQ+ community, including discussions around surrogacy, adoption and solo parenthood.

We will also talk through the emotional toll of struggling to conceive, the grief and trauma associated with loss and failed cycles, as well as the impact of going through fertility treatment while at work and the mental health implications which ultimately impact on both the individual and the workplace.

We will also be sharing our findings, along with the reasons people choose not to disclose what they are going through at work and why it is therefore so important for an organisation to create a psychologically safe space in which people feel they can open up.

There will be a panel discussion enabling you to hear lived experiences of pregnancy loss and fertility treatment from the heterosexual and the LGBT perspective. We will talk through what managers and colleagues can do to offer support, with the aim of helping you feel more confident in having these difficult and sensitive conversations, ensuring you can better support those in your workforce facing these challenges.

Who should attend?

This session is open to all employees of Henley Partnership members and is suitable for those who are experiencing these challenges and those who have direct reports who are, all genders and anyone who would like to know more. If you haven’t encountered these issues, this webinar will be thought provoking.

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Shaun Greenaway

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Shaun Greenaway is a male fertility advocate. In 2018 he was diagnosed as infertile due to azoospermia – in other words, he has no sperm. Dealing with fertility issues is tough for anyone who experiences it. It is a journey like no other; to struggle to do something that society tells us should come naturally and easily. Add being a male into the mix, and things get a whole lot more complex.

There’s a lot of shame and secrecy about infertility in general, but when the complications stem from the male side, that shame and secrecy increase exponentially. This is reflected in the fact that it’s a topic that is rarely discussed, despite male factor fertility issues accounting for around 50% of cases where couples have difficulty conceiving.

The mental anguish of that experience ran through all aspects of Shaun’s life, including his work. He was trying to carry on regardless, without telling anyone – let alone his colleagues. He hid the multitude of appointments and tests by taking annual leave, or asking to change shift times to attend to ‘family matters’, but with every request came added anxiety. When Shaun eventually opened up to his supervisors about what he and his wife were going through – and more specifically about his own experience – the supervisors were so supportive. They reassured him by saying that he could take whatever time off he needed. Shaun describes how this was like a weight off his shoulders, which in turn removed a massive source of stress and therefore enabled him to refocus on his productivity at work.

Shaun founded the support platform to give men a place to connect, and more importantly, a place to find support. He also offers one-to-one coaching for men who need a more personal connection and structured support, and is now a regular media spokesperson.

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Natalie Silverman

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With over 15 years of broadcasting experience with the UK’s leading commercial radio stations, award-winning voiceover artist Natalie launched The Fertility Podcast in 2014, once pregnant after fertility treatment. It was the UK’s first dedicated podcast on this taboo topic at a time when podcasts weren’t as popular as they are now.

Since then, Natalie has spoken to numerous men and women about their struggles and interviewed fertility experts around the globe. To date, the podcast has had almost half a million downloads. She is a patient advocate, regular panel host and chair at key fertility industry events and a qualified Freedom Fertility Formula™ Coach.

In 2019 Natalie shared her experience of IVF in Grazia magazine’s Womb with a View column and while hosting a breakfast radio show. She then went on to speak as part of AXA’s Diversity and Inclusion Festival and work with Barclays Bank, before joining forces with Becky and Claire.

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Becky Kearns


Becky is a passionate patient advocate who speaks regularly about her own experience of early menopause, IVF, miscarriage and donor conception. Becky is the founder of DefiningMum and Paths to Parenthub, a donor conception support platform as well as an experienced HR professional, bringing both personal and professional experience to the topic.

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Michael Johnson-Ellis

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Michael and his partner Wes have been UK Surrogacy and Fertility Treatment advocates since 2015, when they embarked on their first fertility journey with their daughter, Talulah, born in 2016, and their son Duke born in August 2019. They are the founders of Two Dads UK and My Surrogacy Journey.

Image by Chris Jepson

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The Henley Partnership

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Telephone: 01491 418 855