The Commission on Gender Stereotypes in Early Childhood, is co-chaired by Director of the UCL Institute of Education, Professor Becky Francis and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood, Rt Hon David Lammy MP.

The Commission will run until 2020. It will gather evidence and promote practical solutions to change childhood and change lives, and explore how gender stereotypes interact with other norms including race and class. Over the course of the year the Commission will host evidence sessions, and will be  seeking input from the public, including the views of parents and teachers on the gender stereotypes they see affecting children. Feed into our Consultation here.

Commission Co-Chairs

Rt Hon David Lammy MP
Member of Parliament for Tottenham and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood

David has been the Labour Member of Parliament for his home constituency of Tottenham since 2000.

Born in Tottenham in 1972, one of five children raised by a single mother. David was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1994, practised as a barrister in England and the United States and became the first black Briton to study a Masters in Law at Harvard Law School, graduating in 1997.

David served as a Minister in the last Labour government, including as Culture Minister and Higher Education Minister, and was appointed to the Privy Council in 2008. As a Minister in the Department of Health he oversaw the introduction of four hour waiting times in A&E Departments and as Minister of State for Higher Education and Skills established the Skills Funding Agency and the National Apprenticeship Service.

David has led a high-profile campaign calling on Oxbridge to improve access for students from under-represented and disadvantaged backgrounds.

He is also the author of Out of the Ashes: Britain After the Riots, an analysis of the long-standing causes of the 2011 riots. David is a regular contributor to national newspapers and publications including The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, New Statesman and others, and appears regularly on television and radio.

David lives in Haringey with his wife and three children.

Professor Becky Francis
Chief Executive Officer, The Education Endowment Foundation

Professor Becky Francis, FAcSS, is Chief Executive of the Education Endowment Foundation. She was previously Director of the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), and before that Professor of Education and Social Justice at King’s College London. Her other prior roles include Director of Education at the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), and Standing Advisor to the Parliamentary Education Select Committee.

Throughout her career, Becky has sought to maximise the impact of academic research by working closely with teachers and policy-makers. She has spearheaded high-profile research programmes assessing the impact of major reforms in the English school system on educational inequalities, and is sought out internationally as an advisor to Governments on education policy.

Becky’s academic expertise and extensive publications centre on social identities (gender, race and social class) and inequalities in educational contexts. She is best known for her body of work on social identities and educational attainment (especially gender and attainment), and her contributions to gender theory regarding the social construction of gender in educational contexts.

Commission Members

Early Education

Beth Bramley, Gender Balance Lead, Institute of Physics

Beth Bramley leads on gender equality in schools at the Institute of Physics, an active area of work which builds on research highlighting the impact of gender stereotypes on young peoples’ choices in education and beyond. The recently launched Gender Action schools awards support and promote a whole-school approach to challenging stereotypes in education.

Dr Mary Bousted, Joint General Secretary, National Education Union (NEU)

Dr Mary Bousted is joint general secretary of the National Education Union. Mary represents the interests of her members to the government, and to a wide variety of other stakeholders. As the education union, NEU leads the debate on key educational issues with strong policy positions on, for example, assessment and curriculum changes; school accountability and school structures.

Mary contributes regular articles for newspapers and education journals and appears frequently on national media. She sits on the executive committee of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) and was a member of the ACAS board. Mary is also an accomplished public speaker and has debated at the Oxford Union.

Mary previously worked in higher education at York University, Edge Hill University and at Kingston University where she was Head of the School of Education. Prior to this Mary was a Head of English, and English teacher in comprehensive schools in North London.

Jennifer Liston-Smith, Head of Coaching, Consultancy & Thought Leadership, Bright Horizons Work+Family Solutions

Jennifer is a sought-after consultant and thought leader on employer family-friendly strategies, speaker, writer, leadership coach and coaching supervisor. Jennifer’s team has coached thousands of working parents, carers and their line managers at many of the world’s leading employer organisations and advised on best practice from family-friendly to flexible working, gender pay gap to shared parental leave.

Jennifer has several qualifications in coaching psychology including a Post-Graduate Certificate in Coaching Supervision, Principal Practitioner status with the Association for Business Psychology and a Masters in Experimental Psychology, as well as an Oxford University law degree. Jennifer is a mother of two teenage boys and understands the challenges of combining a demanding senior role with family life.

Josh Hillman, Director of Education, Nuffield Foundation

Josh has been Director of Education at the Nuffield Foundation since 2008. He leads the Foundation’s work in education, encompassing both research funding and student programmes in STEM and quantitative skills. Prior roles include Head of Education Policy at the BBC, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research, research officer for the National Commission on Education, and short periods at the Institute for Education and the Department of Education and Science.

Sharon Hague, Senior Vice President, Pearson

Sharon is a Senior Vice President at Pearson where she has worked for nearly 20 years. She is responsible for the development and delivery of qualifications and assessments together with providing primary and secondary with high quality teaching and learning resources.  She has extensive experience of working closely with government, schools and other partners to provide services that help children and young people make progress in their lives. Sharon is an advocate for inclusivity both in the workplace and within education.

Sharon graduated from Oxford and trained as a teacher and taught in schools in Essex and Hertfordshire for 8 years. She is a speaker for the charity, Speaker for Schools,and is a governor at a secondary and primary school.

Liz Bayram, Chief Executive, The Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY)

Liz Bayram has been Chief Executive of PACEY – the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years since December 2005. Formed in 1977, PACEY is a charity dedicated to supporting everyone working in childcare and early years to provide high quality care and early learning for children and families. A professional association with over 25,000 members, PACEY provides training, practical help and expert advice to practitioners working in childminding, nurseries and pre-schools throughout England and Wales. It also provide peer support and encouragement through a national network of PACEY Champions, experienced practitioners who volunteer their time to help others. Alongside direct support to practitioners, PACEY also works in partnership with national and local government to support the delivery of high quality childcare and early education. The charity also represents the views and experiences of practitioners and champions their vital role in helping prepare children for a bright future.

Liz started her career as a journalist before moving in to senior policy and communication roles at both The Royal Society and Asthma UK. You can follow Liz on Twitter @LizBayram_PACEY and find out more about PACEY at

Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive, National Children's Bureau

Anna is NCB’s Chief Executive. For more than 50 years, NCB has championed the rights of children and young people across the nation. We interrogate policy and uncover evidence to shape future legislation. We take the voices of children to the heart of Government, bringing people and organisations together to drive change in society and deliver a better childhood for the UK. 

Anna is a strategic advisor to the board of Juconi which is a charity in Mexico working with highly excluded children, Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, and a member of the UK Trauma Council. 

Before joining NCB in September 2014, Anna was the Chief Executive of EveryChild and founded Family for Every Child, a membership organisation for national civil society organisations providing care and protection for children.

Anna has worked in international development for much of her career. She was Oxfam's Head of Communications, the Chair of ActionAid UK and Chair of Bond, the membership organisation for the UK's international development organisations.

After working for Oxfam, Anna became Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Association of London Government where she worked with London's 33 authorities on child protection issues following the Victoria Climbie case and the introduction of Every Child Matters legislation.

Gill Jones, Deputy Director of Early Education, Ofsted (Observer status)

Gill Jones is one of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and joined Ofsted in 2007, leading inspections of schools and children’s centres. She is the Deputy Director for Early Education Policy, introducing the early years common inspection framework and responsible for the Early Years Annual Reports. Before joining Ofsted Gill was a consultant leader for the National College, training new and aspiring head teachers and school improvement partners. She was the head teacher of two primary schools, during which time she set up out of school provision and holiday clubs including day-care for under-fives. She subsequently became a senior inspector for Wirral LA, with responsibility for primary education. Gill has held a number of roles in Ofsted, including senior HMI in the East of England and principal officer for the inspection policy of maintained primary schools.

Caroline Popoola, CEO and Founder, Alpha Childcare

Susie Owen, Deputy Director, Department of Education (Observer status)

Nick Corlett, Manager, London Early Years Foundation (LEYF)


Justine Roberts, CEO and Founder, Mumsnet

Justine Roberts CBE is Founder and CEO of Mumsnet, an online community of parents sharing advice, support and product recommendations with over 10 million unique users per month. 

Mumsnet hosts a network of around 10,000 influencers, and regularly campaigns on issues its members care about. In 2011, Justine launched Gransnet, a website for the original baby boomer generation. 

Justine is a non-executive director of FTSE100 insurance firm Admiral and of the Open Data Institute. She is also a member of the London Stock Exchange’s ELITE programme.  

Justine was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to the economy. 

Before Mumsnet, Justine wrote about football and cricket for the Daily Telegraph and the Times and before that she was an economist and strategist for SG Warburg. 

Justine is a mother of four (and two dogs).

Jessica Figueras, Chair of Trustees, NCT

Jessica is Chair of Trustees at the National Childbirth Trust, the UK's largest charity for parents, where she is also a research networker and voluntary breastfeeding counsellor.

Jessica's professional career has been in the tech and media sector, primarily as a strategic adviser to enterprise technology companies. Most recently she's been a well-known speaker and commentator on technology in the UK public sector. She currently works in business intelligence, running pan-European research and monitoring programmes for policy and public sector professionals.

Jessica has an MA from the University of Cambridge and a Diploma in Computing from the Open University. She is a Fellow of the RSA and member of the Association of Chairs.

Adrienne Burgess, Joint CEO and Head of Research, Fatherhood Institute

Adrienne Burgess has written widely on fatherhood and on couple relationships. Her seminal book Fatherhood Reclaimed: the making of the modern father (Vermilion, 1997) helped set a new agenda on fatherhood in the UK and abroad. Adrienne trains and speaks on fatherhood across the world, was recently Special Advisor to the Women and Equalities Committee in the House of Commons, and is directing a major research project, Contemporary Fathers in the UK:  what do we know?  what do we need to know?funded by the Nuffield Foundation which explores gender and parenthood in the UK.

Dr Jeremy Davies, Head of Communications, Fatherhood Institute

Jeremy Davies, Head of Communications at the Fatherhood Institute,is a passionate advocate for involved fatherhood, and has more than a decade’s experience of helping early years professionals reach out to, and work more effectively with, fathers. He promotes the Fatherhood Institute’s vision through press campaigns, blogs and appearances on TV and radio,has written and contributed to early years practice guides, including the Toolkit for Father-Inclusive Practice and Invisible Fathers Working with Young Fathers Resource Pack,as well as for publications including The Guardian,Nursery World, Practising Midwife and Early Years Childcarer. Jeremy leads the #MITEY (Men In The Early Years) campaign for a more gender-balanced early years workforce, and is co-investigator (with Jo Warin of Lancaster University Department of Educational Research) on the ESRC-funded Gender Diversification in Early Years Education study

Owen Thomas, Operations Manager, Future Men

Owen's role is broad and varied, supervising a team of Fathers development work - project co-ordinators across London; offering direct support and interventions to Fathers and young men. An element of his role is strategic, advocating for the needs of Young and expectant Fathers at local and national forums such as the All Party Parliamentary Group on Fatherhood and delivering training on related subjects to professionals. Owen has extensive direct experience in this area working closely with agencies and most importantly Fathers and Male carer's at crucial stages of their lives. This experience and knowledge allows consultation on a broad range of related subjects such as addressing stereotypes of masculinities, culture and identity; healthy relationships teenage pregnancy preventative work. Finally Owen is keen to influence and inform research/policy, across a wide range of issues faced by marginalised and disadvantaged boys and young men, their families and the wider community.


Tessa Trabue, Campaigner, Let Toys Be Toys

Tessa Trabue joined the Let Toys Be Toys campaign in early 2013 after being inspired to act when seeing the negative effects of gendered marketing on her young child.  She is a founding member of the campaign’s offshoot Let Books Be Books, which has successfully convinced 11 UK publishers to drop gendered labels on books, and also of the campaign's Toymark award scheme, which recognises UK retailers that model good practice in marketing toys, books and bikes to children.  As well as continuing to support the campaign’s main asks, Tessa is currently working with the Let Toys Be Toys schools team to develop effective ways to get the campaign’s resources for challenging gender stereotypes to more teachers throughout the UK.

Mark Jennett, Education Consultant, Let Toys Be Toys

Mark Jennett is a consultant specialising in equality and diversity, emotional wellbeing, mental health and PSHE. 

He devised the National Education Union's Breaking The Mould resources which support schools to challenge gender stereotypes.  He has worked as a trainer with the National Children’s Bureau on their Learn Equality Live Equal programme to support schools in delivering inclusive RSE that challenges gender stereotypes.  He was a National Adviser with the National Healthy Schools Programme and is on the board of the Centre for Studies on Inclusive Education.

Anna Howorth, Director of Global Branding & UK Marketing, Usborne Books

Usborne is the UK’s leading specialist children’s book publisher: an independent, family business which creates engaging, innovative, accessible books for children of all ages. Anna Howorth has been with the company for 13 years. She heads up the UK marketing and publicity team and also oversees global branding, managing the way in which the Usborne brand is represented around the world.

TBC - Advertising Standards Authority/CAP (Observer status)

Norms and Stereotypes

Professor Gina Rippon, Professor Emeritus of Cognitive Neuroimaging, Aston University

Professor Gina Rippon is Emeritus Professor of Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Aston Brain Centre, Aston University, Birmingham. She is a past-President of the British Association of Cognitive Neuroscience and, in 2015, was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the British Science Association. Her research involves state-of-the-art brain imaging techniques to investigate developmental disorders such as dyslexia and autism. She also investgates the use of neuroscience techniques to explore social processes such as gender stereotyping and stereotype threat.

She is an outspoken critic of neurotrash, the populist (mis)use of neuroscience research to (mis)represent our understanding of the brain and, most particularly, to prop up outdated stereotypes. In her new book ‘The Gendered Brain’ (Bodley Head), she challenges the idea that there are two sorts of ‘hardwired’ brains’, male and female, and offers a 21st century model for better understanding of how brains get to be different.She is a member of WISEand works with organisations such as Speakers4Schools, regularly addressing secondary schools on issues associated with gender, science and the brain. As part of a European initiative to address gender inequalities in participation in science, she has given keynote addresses at conferences in France, Italy, Norway, Poland, Spain and Switzerland.

Nazmin Akthar, Chair, Muslim Women's Network

Nazmin is the Chair of Muslim Women's Network UK (MWNUK), a charity dedicated to promoting equality and social justice for Muslim women and girls. MWNUK regularly works with children of school age, providing them with the knowledge and information required for their empowerment and positive development. It also runs the MWN Helpline, a faith and culturally sensitive service that assists individuals of all ages and on all issues. Nazmin joined MWNUK in 2011 and acted as Vice-Chair for 6 years, before taking on the role of Chair.  She was called to the Bar in 2010 after completing her Law degree at the University of Durham and BVC at University of Northumbria. She then also completed her Masters in Law at Northumbria University in which her dissertation concentrated on the treatment of women offenders by the legal system.

After working in a number of roles in the areas of civil litigation, employment, immigration/asylum and social housing, including acting as a County Court Advocate on the North Eastern Circuit, she qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive Lawyer in 2016 and now works in the real estate department of a leading Legal 500 firm in the South East. Nazmin is an avid supporter of equality and diversity, and youth empowerment. She was an Olympic Torchbearer in 2012 and was recently listed in the 2018 British Bangladeshi Who's Who publication.

Joanne McCartney AM, Deputy Mayor for Education, Greater London Authority

In May 2016, Sadiq Khan appointed Joanne to the position of Statutory Deputy Mayor of London. Among her duties, Joanne can act on behalf of the Mayor and can represent him at engagements across London. In the event that something should happen to the Mayor, she will stand in his place until there is a formal election. Joanne is also Deputy Mayor for Education and Childcare. Her priorities include improving childcare and early-years education, working with London boroughs to provide a good school place for every child, promoting and celebrating excellent teaching in London, and leading a London-wide effort to recruit a new generation of head teachers.

Joanne McCartney AM has been a member of the London Assembly since June 2004, representing Enfield and Haringey. Before becoming Deputy Mayor, Joanne chaired the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee where she led investigations into confronting child sexual exploitation, preventing extremism in London, and boosting the diversity of the Metropolitan Police.

Joanne served as a local councillor in Enfield from 1998 to 2006 where she chaired Enfield’s Early Years Development and Childcare Partnership. Before becoming an Assembly Member, Joanne practised as a barrister and specialised in employment law.

Laura Russell, Director of Campaigns, Policy and Research, Stonewall

Dr Sue Black, Professor of Computer Science, Durham University

Orla Mackle, Head of Gender Norms Policy, Government Equalities Office (Observer status)

Sarah Ditum, Journalist