Senior Leadership Team
Jane van Zyl, Chief Executive
Jane became CEO of Working Families in September 2018. Jane has 12 years’ experience working in the third sector and has held senior leadership positions at a number of UK charities. She believes in the value of a fulfilling, balanced working life and its transformative power to create social connections, build self-esteem, and impact the wider community. She is a passionate advocate of equal opportunity for all.
Prior to joining Working Families, Jane served as Operations Director at Breast Cancer Haven. She has also served as Acting Chief Executive at SANDS and Head of Operations at Samaritans.
Jane holds a social science bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town in Industrial Sociology and Industrial Psychology.
Kirstie Axtens, Head of Employer Services
Kirstie has over 20 years’ experience working with employers by providing them with insight, knowledge and practical interventions to help them develop engaged and high-performing inclusive workplaces. Since the mid-1990s, she has been demonstrating to employers how to realise the business gains of supporting parents and carers in the workplace and introducing flexible working for all staff in order to create a more agile, effective organisation.
Mubeen Bhutta, Head of Policy and Influencing (job share)
Mubeen has worked in charity policy, research and campaigning roles for over 15 years, and has been at Working Families since 2015. Together with Julia Waltham, Mubeen leads the charity’s influencing work, amplifying the voices of both working parents and progressive employers to push for pragmatic changes to the world of work.
Mubeen has previously worked for the British Heart Foundation and NCVO, has undertaken a secondment as a House of Commons clerk, and been a charity trustee and school governor. Mubeen holds an MSc in Voluntary Sector Management from the Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Cass Business School.
Catherine Gregory, Head of Marketing and Communications
Catherine became Head of Marketing and Communications at Working Families in September 2018. In this role, Catherine serves on the charity’s senior management team and is responsible for creating innovative marketing and communications strategies across a broad spectrum of channels and platforms.
Prior to Working Families, Catherine was Senior Manager of Marketing and Communications for Europe at the Urban Land Institute, where she oversaw the organisation’s marketing and communications activities across 14 countries. She has also held positions at the U.S. Department of Treasury and the British Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Catherine holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William and Mary and a master’s degree in media and public affairs from George Washington University.
Emily Pritty, Head of Legal Advice Service (job share)
Emily believes it is essential for employment law advice to be readily available and accessible to those who need it the most, yet have the least access to support. She is passionate about reducing inequality and supporting employers to improve flexibility and diversity in the workplace. Together with Katy Salt, Emily is responsible for the charity’s Legal Advice Service, advising working parents on the rights via our advice support channels.
Emily has specialised in employment law since qualification as a solicitor in 2005 advising employers and employees from a wide range of industry sectors on the full range of contentious and non contentious employment law and day to day HR matters. Emily has previously worked at Norton Rose Fulbright and Harbottle and Lewis LLP before doing employment law consultancy alongside raising her children. Emily did her degree in Law and Politics at Nottingham University and Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Law school.
Julia Waltham, Head of Policy and Influencing (job share)
Julia Waltham is a research, policy, communications and public affairs specialist and has been with Working Families since the birth of her second child in 2015. Drawing on Working Families’ employer work across the UK and feedback from parents via its Legal Advice Service, Julia is a passionate campaigner for better family-friendly policies and practice. Julia is a regular media commentator, blogger and public speaker on the policies needed for more parents and carers to work and to fulfil their potential at work.