JODY DAY (IE) is the 57-year-old British founder of Gateway Women, the global friendship, support & advocacy network for childless women, founded in the UK in 2011 and now headquartered in Ireland. She’s the author of what many professionals consider to be the ‘go-to’ book on the topic, ‘Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children’ (PanMac 2016/2020). Chosen as one of the BBC’s 100 Women in 2013 & awarded UK Digital Woman of the Year (2nd place) in 2021, she’s a global thought leader on female involuntary childlessness, a psychotherapist, a 2017 and 2022 TEDx speaker, a social entrepreneur, a founding and former board member at Ageing Well Without Children and a former Fellow in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School. Often referred to as the ‘voice of the childless generation’ she’s also an Ambassador for both World Childless Week and PLICA (Australia). She lives in Ireland with her 2nd husband, his mother and their dog where she’s writing a novel (featuring a childless heroine of course!) and nurturing the emerging Gateway Elderwomen project for ‘conscious childless elderwomen’.
website: www.gateway-women.com direct email: email@example.com jody's assistant sonia: firstname.lastname@example.org twitter @gatewaywomen (DMs open for journalists) instagram @gatewaywomen and @apprenticecrone linked-in: @jodyday public facebook page www.facebook.com/GatewayWomenUK mighty networks community (direct message for members) Jody Day GW Click here for Jody's (longer) downloadable one-page bio, headshots etc and to download the Gateway Women logo
KARIN ENFIELD DE VRIES (BNL) is Gateway Women’s Operation Director as well as being the lead trainer and licensed facilitator for Gateway Women’s Online Reignite Weekends and the leader for the 2021 Global Online Bee program. Bilingual in English/Dutch she lives on the Belgian/Dutch border with her British husband and cats and is childless due to a hysterectomy at 33 as part of her treatment for cervical cancer. Karin is in her early 40’s and she recently (March 2022) qualified as a Grief & Loss Counsellor. Until she joined GW, her previous 20-year corporate career was in Business Transformation and Change Management, guiding people and corporate teams through transformations. An Alumni of Gateway Women’s 2017 Online Bee, Karin is a World Childless Week Ambassador and is particularly interested in developing a better understanding of childlessness due to cancer, including amongst the medical profession. She speaks at Oncology Conferences about her experience and in 2020 was the face of a major Dutch health education initiative to raise awareness of cervical cancer. As well as co-facilitating Gateway Women’s Online & In-Person Reignite Weekends, she also Hosts a Gateway Gathering for Benelux and is growing awareness of Gateway Women in Europe. email: email@example.com and you can connect with her on Instagram @GatewayWomenBNL and find out more about forthcoming UK/EU Reignite Weekends in English and Dutch here.
SONIA SUMAN (UK) is the Community Manager for the Gateway Women Private Online Community as well as Executive Virtual Assistant to GW’s Founder, Jody Day. Sonia’s professional background is in academia; she has a PhD in Renaissance Literature and has taught at both school and university level. For the last few years, Sonia has been supporting undergraduate and postgraduate students and was part of the wellbeing team at a major British university. This also led her to study and train to teach mindfulness and self-compassion, which has been a huge part of her own healing journey too. She is passionate about community and became a Gateway Gatherings Host for the Worcestershire (UK) area in 2018, and realising the difference it made to her life having a local network of childless friends, she has gradually got more and more involved with GW to the point that she’s now an invaluable part of Team Gateway. You can contact her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you need support around anything to do with your membership to the Gateway Women Online Community, please email Sonia at email@example.com
YVONNE JOHN (UK) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS), a trainee counsellor and the author of the book Dreaming of the Life Unlived: Intimate Stories and Portraits of Women Without Children. A gifted public speaker and passionate about creating inclusivity for black women and women of colour in the cultural narrative of childlessness, Yvonne has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’. She also blogs about her own evolving recovery from childlessness at Finding My Plan B. A graduate of GW’s 2016’s year-long Plan B Mentorship Programme, Yvonne is also a World Childless Week Ambassador. She works in the medical services industry and is also a talented photographer and singer. You can learn more about Yvonne in her own words in her guest blog for Gateway Women, The Black Woman in the Room, You can find out more about forthcoming UK/EU Reignite Weekends here and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
SARAH LAWRENCE (UK) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) and lives in Kent, UK with her husband and two cats. She is the founder of the childless support community After the Storm, a qualified coach and person-centred counsellor and currently doing additional training to specialise in trauma as she understands that many aspects of childless women’s stories, not just our childlessness, may carry unresolved trauma. She is also one-third of the amazing Full Stop Podcast and is passionate about running, yoga (so she can keep running), walking, and pretty much anything related to mental health and wellbeing. Sarah is childless as a result of endometriosis and adenomyosis, both of which resulted in many (many!) operations and procedures over a long period of time, and ultimately led to her having a hysterectomy in 2017; she wrote a powerful blog about this for Gateway Women called ‘Childless After Hysterectomy – I am Still a Woman – Hear me Roar! You can watch a short video chat between Sarah and Jody here. Sarah leads Gateway Women Reignite Weekends in the UK/EU – find out more here and contact her directly by email at email@example.com
SOPHIA ANDEH (UK) is a licensed Gateway Women Workshop Facilitator (GWS), an alumni of Gateway Women’s 2017 year-long Plan B mentorship programme, an award-winning coach and the founder of Butterfly and Beyond, it is her mission is to help women who are childless not by choice reclaim their sense of self and move from existing to truly living whole and fulfilled lives. Sophia has coached team members in the corporate sector for over 20 years, and now has a special interest in coaching to help childless women create fulfilling lives without children. Her Master’s research exploring the experience of coaching in childless women received an award from the European Mentoring and Coaching Council UK, for ‘the dissertation with the highest potential for societal benefit.’ Sophia is childless by circumstance having not found a partner to have children with and having subsequently been unsuccessful in her attempts to pursue solo motherhood through fertility treatments. In tandem with her work with Butterfly and Beyond she promotes inclusivity and raises awareness of the unconscious bias that marginalizes, isolates and strips women of their self-worth and role within society, including the workplace. Sophia is also a qualified yoga teacher and holds classes especially for Gateway Women run via the GW Membership Community. You can contact Sophia directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram @butterfly_beyond
LIANE MAITLAND (SCOTLAND) is 46 and lives near Edinburgh, Scotland. Having worked in the corporate world for a long time, most latterly as a Director of Human Resources, she has over fifteen years of experience in developing people. She came to believe that most of us, at some point, could benefit from professional therapeutic support in dealing with life’s curveballs, so she retrained and has for the past five years combined running a private psychotherapeutic counselling practice with corporate consulting. Her childlessness is due to a combination of factors – being a (recovered!) workaholic, not meeting her husband until she was 40, some gynecological issues and a dance with cancer. Happily, she now has the all-clear and is excited about embracing a new phase of her life, which includes running Reignite Weekends and supporting other Gateway Women on their journeys towards their Plan Bs’. You can contact Liane directly at email@example.com
KRISTINE MALLETT (USA) is a licensed Gateway Women Facilitator. In her early fifties, she lives with her husband and puppy Tallulah in New Jersey, USA. She has been a middle-school teacher since 2001, is trained in classical ballet and Polynesian dance, and is also a Zumba instructor (but not all at the same time!) Kristine is childless due to an early, unhappy marriage that she chose not to bring children into; she then spent her mid-to-late thirties divorced and single while completing her master’s degree, before meeting her current husband. After a miscarriage and multiple rounds of IVF during her early and mid-forties (the last attempt using donor eggs from her sister, 15 years her junior), Kristine’s treatment came to a shocking conclusion with medication-induced, life-threatening blood clots in both lungs. Kristine has been leading a local Gateway Gathering ‘meetup’ since 2014 (New members welcome). Kristine is a graduate of the 2017 ‘Online Bee’ Plan B Mentorship Program and in 2018 was trained to lead Gateway Women Reignite Weekends in the USA. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org and you can find out more about forthcoming North American Reignite Weekends here.
KELLY BRANDT (USA) is a licensed Gateway Women Reignite Weekend Facilitator and lives in San Marino, California with her husband. Childless herself due to infertility and early-term loss, Kelly travelled to the UK in 2014 to attend a Gateway Women retreat which had such a profoundly positive impact on her own recovery from childlessness that she wanted this work to be available in the USA. She has since qualified as a Certified Grief and Bereavement Facilitator (Glendale Adventist Hospital training) and also co-facilitated a Reignite Weekend jointly with Jody in Pasadena in July 2016 before becoming a licensed Gateway Women Reignite Weekend facilitator in 2017. In 2019 and 2020 she led a very moving non-denominational service of remembrance for the children that live only in our hearts for World Childless Week. Now in her fifties she is a qualified Pilates instructor and massage therapist and a co-host of the ‘Fitness and Movement’ group within the Gateway Women Membership Community, Kelly understands how necessary it is that our bodies, not just our minds, are part of the process of healing from childlessness – extending this belief and, as part of her ‘Plan B’, Kelly recently became a Certified Mindful Outdoor Guide. She has been a local Gateway Gathering Host since 2015 and has been leading Gateway Women Reignite Weekends in the USA since 2017. You can contact Kelly directly at email@example.com and find out more about in-person Reignite Weekends led by Kelly in California here.
CATHERINE-EMMANUELLE DELISLE (CANADA) is a licensed Gateway Women Facilitator based in Montreal, Canada. She is a qualified Therapist For Relationship Assistance (TRA), an elementary school teacher, and the founder of the award-winning Francophone website for women without children, ‘Femme Sans Enfant‘. Now in her mid-40s, she was diagnosed with unexplained early menopause at 14, and told that she would never be able to have biological children. She suppressed her grief over her childlessness by throwing herself into the child-centred world of elementary school teaching until, in her mid-30s, she decided to speak out about her experience as a single childless woman on her bilingual (French/English) blog, Femme Sans Enfant. She also runs French-speaking Meetup groups for Femme Sans Enfant in Montreal (Canada), Paris (France) and Genève (Switzerland) and, since 2014, has also been giving public talks about life without children as both a personal issue and in the workplace context. Catherine-Emmanuelle has been closely involved with Gateway Women since 2012 and is also a World Childless Week Ambassador. You can find connect with Catherine-Emmanuelle directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
SARAH ROBERTS (AUS) is a licensed Gateway Women Reignite workshop facilitator and founder of Australia’s The Empty Cradle. With over 30 years of experience in counseling, community work and teaching, Sarah brings together a unique combination of lived experience, clinical skills (ACA registered) and academic work (completing Master Social Work). Sarah considers permanent involuntary childlessness to be one of the sacred journeys of womanhood and has supported hundreds of women to grieve the losses and nurture a life of meaning, connection and joy. Sarah lives on a semi-rural property in Brisbane, Australia with her partner Kevin and moodle Max. A graduate of Gateway Women’s year-long Plan B Mentorship Program, the Online Bee, she is passionate about the complexity of the human experience and what it means to live a good life. Sarah’s ‘Plan B’ includes native habitat restoration for the well-being of local native animals and future generations. You can find out more about Sarah’s story here, find out about forthcoming Reignite Weekends in Australia/NZ here and email her directly at email@example.com
JUDY GRAHAM (AUS) is a licensed Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS) to bring Gateway Women’s Reignite Weekends to Australian and Kiwi women. She is the founder of WomenHood Counselling in Australia where she provides counselling support especially for women who are childless-not-by-choice. As a childless-not-by-choice woman herself, she integrates her childless experience with over twenty years of working in health, education and counselling to support and inspire other childless women. Judy lives on Queensland’s Gold Coast where she grew up and lay down her roots. She works with women across Australia (thank you Zoom!) and is part of a growing network building awareness and support around the unique issues for women who are childless-not-by-choice. You can find out more about forthcoming Australian/NZ Reignite Weekends here and email Judy directly at: firstname.lastname@example.org