The GEC Founders
BIO: Cat is a mum of 3 and an award winning Director in Technology.
Cat studied science throughout her education culminating in a degree in Physiological Sciences. From there she went into Technology and found her home. Currently a Director of Product, Cat speaks at events on her favourite topics; Digital Strategy, working parents, females in Technology/STEM. It wasn’t until she became an employer that Cat realised there was such a problem with gender disparity in Tech, specifically in her recruitment pipeline but it was when she became a mother that she realised that she had a personal responsibility to change things.
BIO: Nicole is a mum of 3 and an award winning digital education specialist.
Nicole has taught new technologies in the education sector (from Early Years to adults) since the start of the century. Her work today is based on supporting educational settings to become inclusive and digitally literate. She works with a range of national and international charities and organisations to achieve this. She was awarded a place on the EdTech50 (2018) as one of the leading pioneers in the UK EdTech sector. Nicole believes that it is time for equality to be the ‘new normal’, in the media, in education, in business and at home.
THE GEC STEERING GROUP
Meet The GEC Steering Group. Made up of people with particular skills, expertise and experience, The Steering Group help shape The GEC strategy.
Please contact us if you would like to be a member.
Graham Andre is a primary school teacher working on the Isle of Wight. Most recently Graham was seen working with his class on the (now BAFTA nominated!) BBC2 documentary ‘No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free’. Through this documentary he has been invited to speak on national TV and live events to talk about its impact.
He has always worked in the education sector, starting as a teaching assistant and having various roles before doing a part-time degree and completing his GTP six years ago.
Jade Parkinson-Hill is the founder of Steam School. Recently launched in the U.K. Steam School broadcasts interviews with inspirational people from the worlds of science, tech and digital media into schools crossed the U.K.
For more than a decade, Jade has worked in the UK education sector launching new schools and delivering entrepreneurship projects to students and communities across the North West of England. In 2015, Jade was named one of the 'top 100 women in games' in recognition of her role in establishing the UK's first 'geek' school in Liverpool.
James Millar is a journalist, author, podcaster and feminist.
He started the @GenderDiary Twitter account with his partner, Ros Ball, charting all the tiny ways their son and daughter were treated differently because of their sex. That led to The Gender Agenda, published July 2017 by Jessica Kingsley Publishing.
His second book, Dads Don’t Babysit: Towards Equal Parenting was published in autumn 2018 by Ortega Press.
A mum of 3 and Deputy Head Teacher of a large primary school in Northumberland.
Caroline has been teaching for over 20 years and specialises in literacy. She is currently completing a masters degree in Leading in Education. She is involved with both @WomenEd and @WomenEdNW
Over recent years she has become increasingly concerned about the gender disparity in education and the impact this will continue to have on future generations unless we make a change.
David is an internationally-known freelance consultant and researcher on gender equality, masculinities and fatherhood, offering strategic support, training and leadership coaching to statutory and third sector service providers.
He is now a consultant for the Good Lad Initiative, after being National Director and overseeing the merging of Great Men and IMAGINE projects into GLI. In the past, David co-founded the Fatherhood Institute, the UK's fatherhood think tank and was Chief Executive of the White Ribbon Campaign.
Dr Lauren Spinner
Lauren is a Research Associate at the School of Psychology at the University of Kent. Her primary interest is children’s gender development and the effect of socialising agents, such as parents and the media, on children’s gender stereotypes and toy preferences. Currently working on a project to evaluate the impact of gender neutral teaching on primary school children’s gender stereotypes. I am also exploring the effect of gender stereotypic and counter-stereotypic books on children’s gender stereotypes. I am excited and honoured to be part of the GEC.
Gillian is a parent, Speech and Language Therapist and Senior Lecturer. She has extensive experience of working with individuals with communication needs and is particularly interested in the way that role models, environments and opportunities can shape the attitudes and behaviours of young people. Having been bombarded by gender-specific marketing since becoming a parent (suggestions of gender-reveal parties, princesses vs. pirates and pink or blue everything), she is keen to explore an alternative route.
Jordan has been teaching for 13 years and is a dad to 4 year old twins. Working alongside psychology researchers from the University of Kent Jordan led a pilot program for ‘Gender Neutral Teaching’ across 10 classes which is being rolled out across the school.
Jordan believes passionately that every child, regardless of their biology or background, should be able to follow their dreams and realise their potential, and that it is down to us to smash all barriers (including gender stereotypes) that stand in their way.
Meet our GEC Advocates - all experts in their fields and passionate about gender equality, they help us to spread the word about The GEC.
Please contact us if you would like to be an advocate.
Mal is an education consultant specialising in leadership development, coaching in schools and SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development).
Mal supports educational leaders to create a self-sustaining culture of professional development and is a Regional Leader for WomenEdSE and the Dorset Advocate for the MaternityCPD Project & a Healthy Toolkit Advocate.
Alan is the author of sixty books for children.
His stories and plays have been on BBC Radio and published for use in schools.
A former TV scriptwriter, whose work was BAFTA nominated, Alan now spends his time writing zany stories for young readers. His 'Porridge the Tartan Cat' books are written with gender equality in mind.
Andrew is a Google Certified Innovator and Trainer and the Regional Director for EdTechTeam in the UK.
A former Assistant Headteacher, Geography Teacher at a Secondary School, Andrew received an Inspirational Educator Award from the Worshipful Company of Educators. He builds useful tools for teachers, such as the popular Add to Google Classroom Chrome Extension and Feedback Sheet. Outside of Technology, Andrew is also the UK Volunteer Head of Compliance at The Scout Association.
Helen is a mermaid haired mum of one, a Communications Manager for a sport National Governing Body by day and a fitness blogger by night.
Chairperson of the Women’s National Council with the British Tenpin Bowling Association and the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Bassetlaw, Helen is passionate about gender equality, especially in sport and politics.
Kiran 'Sunray' Satti
Kiran is a Primary Teacher and English Leader. She has a Masters in Teaching Studies, specifically the power of dialogic spaces and has taught in Tanzania.
Kiran is passionate about empowering young girls to move beyond equating their worth to appearance but to strength of character and their values.
She is a Womened Regional Leader, who focuses on the power of literature to empower young girls and boys to be their best version, negating from preconceived notions of gender and breaking the mould. Kiran believes celebrating uniqueness is a must if gender equality and equity will crystallise into reality.
Pran Patel is an Assistant Principal in a secondary school, with over 14 years of teaching experience. He regards himself as a staunch feminist and is committed to bringing about not just gender equity but equity for all.
A mental health and BAME advocate he recently featured in a BBC documentary ‘Why Teaching is making me ill’ and Buzzfeed article ‘Black teachers are leaving the profession due to racism’.
As a self professed Outward Facing Leader (and author of an upcoming book by the same name), Pran's ethos can be summed up as, ‘We are not leaders in our schools and classrooms but leaders in our profession’.
Catherine has taught secondary school science in secondary for 12 years. She supported the launch of iPad 1:1 as lead digital practitioner, overseeing teaching and learning with 1:1 devices across the school and becoming an Apple Distinguished Educator, class of 2015.
Now working part time as an Assistant Headteacher, supporting more effective use of the technology available, Catherine also works with a local app developer on an iOS classroom workflow app and is part of the #GECFutures Project.
Catherine is interested in the role of unconscious bias in the perpetuation of gender stereotypes in schools and society, and what teachers can do to recognise and tackle this.
Founder, GoBubble and eCadets Henry’s digital citizenship crusade has taken him from being a Police Sergeant, to creating the multi-award winning eCadet education programme (that has reached more than 1m children) and onto creating GoBubble… a safe social media for children (that’s free for schools).
Henry is committed to equality in schools, in businesses and in the home. "For example, our MD is female and as a team we are 75% female. I believe gender equality is a fantastic opportunity to help businesses succeed".
As an international speaker, Henry has worked with educators in America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia to help them cultivate digital citizenship.
Annahita de la Mare
Annahita de la Mare is a children’s book author and mother to two young girls. Tired of being bombarded with princess paraphernalia by well meaning relatives and friends, she decided it was time the children had some new, better role models, free from gender stereotypes. Being a family of avid readers, books seemed like the natural place to start. She wrote the Hot Air Balloon Adventure stories; a series of naturally inclusive books with relatable girl characters in the lead roles. Girls who encourage each other to be brave, to try hard, and to persevere…even when things don’t quite go to plan. Annahita has a whole pipeline of picture books planned over the next few years, and is looking forward to changing the face of children’s bookshelves one book at a time.
Jonny is the founder & UK Managing Director of WonderHub, a free online platform to help schools and parents discover and review education technology. His vision of the sector is one where educators can quickly make informed decisions on which technology could help improve their schools, and which is the best value.
As well as running WonderHub, Jonny is a co-opted governor for Upton Cross Primary School and the Grants & Website Manager for Indigo Volunteers.
The GEC was introduced to Jonny following his video series about women in education. He has written about what men can do to support female founders, following his refusal of a conference speaking slot due to the lack of female representation.
Greg is Vice Principal: Learning Technologies & Curriculum at The de Ferrers Academy, an Apple Distinguished School. He is responsible for the 1:1 iPad programme, digital strategy, online safety, ICT integration into the curriculum and the Apple Regional Training Centre, as well as overseeing iPad strategy across The de Ferrers Trust. He is an Apple Education Trainer and Apple Distinguished Educator.
Greg has published several books and regularly speaks at international events on STEM, educational technology and leadership.
He is an Astrophysics graduate and Physics teacher; in 2015, he was awarded Salters-Horners A Level Physics award for his work as Head of Physics at Sutton Coldfield Grammar School for Girls.
Caroline Keep is a physics teacher at Penketh High School in Warrington. She is the Director of Spark Penketh, the first school makerspace in the UK and is embedding maker education across the curriculum. Winner of the TES New Teacher of the Year in 2018 for her work on STEAM learning and Nexus Education Award for her Stem Vlog series in 2019.
She has a particular interest in Stem/ Tech for young girls and promoting ways to challenge stereotypes.
Caroline is passionate about fighting against sexism and promoting gender equality. A proud to be ambassador to the Gender Equality Charter and the work they do to create a more equal education system !
James Cain was the editor at Innovate My School... until he emigrated to New Zealand! Now a bonafide Aucklander, James is keen to continue supporting teachers and school leaders from across the world, while also championing equality for all genders and sexualities.
James has known GEC cofounder Nic for years, and has had the pleasure of collaborating with her as a guest author on many occasions.
He is a lover of film and music, and tries to get round to his ever-growing pile of books when possible.
Professor Kate McKenzie
Passionate about education and making a difference to children and young people, Kate has a track record of leading equality and diversity initiatives in the public, private and third sectors. She has led a private company to be awarded Investors in Diversity, whilst in the public sector she led the successful team for the Commission for Racial Equality award of Level 3. Currently Kate is chair of a higher education institution’s Equality and Diversity steering group and, in a personal capacity, Kate is a lay trustee for the National Union of Students where she chairs the HR sub- committee with a special emphasis on the implementation of NUS’s Race Equity Plan. Kate has previously been an Executive member of the Gender and Education Association.
John Adams gave up full time employment in 2011 to become the main carer for his two daughters while his wife works full time and provides for the family. Since 2011 he has worked part-time, been a stay at home dad and latterly, now both his children are at school, he has become a work from home dad. When John became the main carer for his kids, it sparked an interest in gender equality. he often found himself the butt of jokes of dealing with insensitive remarks from people who didn't appreciate a man could look after children as well as a woman.these experiences of casual, latent sexism inspired John to start his multi-award winning blog, Dadbloguk.com. He has grown the blog from a small hobby into one of the most-recognised parenting blogs in the UK. John runs the blog as a business and fits his blogging life around his family commitments. The family lives in the South East of England, a short distance from London.
Stuart Rowntree is a primary school teacher working in the North East. Stuart has recently established MenConnectEd with James Hollinsley in a bid to smash the stereotypes of masculinity within education and wider society. Throughout his career, he has always worked in the education sector, spending a year in Y3 before embarking on ten consecutive years in Y6! Stuart is an aspiring leader and has an NPQSL. Whilst he is keen to engage with other educators as a public speaker, he is also about to embark on another journey, writing a book around diversity in education in collaboration with various other colleagues.
Chris is a primary school teacher in the North-West. He has undertaken research into how under stereotypes can impact a child's self-esteem and levels of anger. He is also interested in how technology has impacted upon children abilities to articulate their feelings.
Chris believes that children cannot learn without feeling good about who they are and that school should be a place where children learn to believe they can do anything, that they should aim high, smashing stereotypes that hold them back as they go.
Lucy Findlay MBE
Lucy Findlay MBE is the founding Managing Director of Social Enterprise Mark CIC, the international social enterprise accreditation authority. Set up in the South West in 2010, it is now internationally acclaimed as leading the way in accreditation for social enterprises. Over the last ten years, she has developed the Social Enterprise Mark from a regional project to an internationally available accreditation, providing a clear standard for the social enterprise sector and added social value. Nine years on from the launch of the Social Enterprise Mark, Lucy remains committed to responding, adapting and developing robust and credible standards, which support, strengthen and broaden the social enterprise sector. Her primary motivation is ensuring that genuine social enterprises are recognised as a legitimate and different way of doing business to change society for the better.
Lucy is publicly recognised as a key player in the UK social enterprise sector, and was appointed an MBE in the Queen’s 2019 New Year Honours for service to social enterprise. Over the years, she has advised several Government departments; she is currently a Year of Green Action Ambassador for DEFRA and has recently worked with DWP and the Supported Business Steering Group to launch a specialist accreditation for social enterprises and Supported Businesses that focus on employing disabled people. Lucy featured in the WISE100 index of the most inspirational and influential Women in Social Enterprise (UK) in 2017 and 2018, and she has also won the respect of the wider business community – she was named Influential Woman of the Year at the 2019 Venus Awards (Devon and Cornwall).