Who we are

Chief Executive and Co-founder Caren Gestetner

Caren was a Partner at Mishcon de Reya Solicitors for many years, until leaving law to pursue her interest in gender through a masters degree in Gender, Policy and Inequalities at the LSE. Caren wrote her dissertation in the field of gender in education. Her study, together with the experiences of her then primary-age children and work in schools, convinced Caren that many gendered inequalities seen throughout society can be traced back to how children learn society’s gendered expectations from a young age. Caren’s work in primary schools to address gendered stereotyping has included workshops with pupils, presenting to staff, providing resources and carrying out gender audits of the school environment and curriculum. Caren also delivers talks to working parents in workplaces.

Rachel Hermer, Co-founder and Programme Director (Growth)

Rachel worked in television production before moving into media policy. Most of her career was spent at the BBC where she led projects both internally and industry wide, represented the BBC on a number of professional bodies, developed strategy and completed an MBA part time. She had a period as the Executive Director of the former broadcasters training regulator (BTSR). Rachel has been very active as primary school governor for 7 years, including several years as Chair of Governors, and sitting on the board of a (since dissolved) borough wide educational partnership.

Olivia Dickinson, Programme Director (Schools)

Head shot of Olivia Dickinson

Olivia has almost 20 years experience in creating engaging and educational experiences for children, including at Sky, Nickleodeon and the BBC’s CBeebies. She has extensive understanding of the national curriculum, particularly from her three years at Discovery Education, where she matched their resources to the national curriculum. She was a key member of Let Toys Be Toys for five years, a successful grassroots campaign for retailers and publishers to stop telling children which toys are ‘for girls’ and ‘for boys’. She led on their schools resources, and regularly spoke publicly on behalf of the campaign about challenging gender stereotypes in childhood, and in doing so built up extensive expertise around gender and education. Olivia also has a MA in Early Childhood Studies.


The Directors are supported by a hand-picked team of expert Advisers.

Fiona Miller Smith

Fiona is Chief Executive of Barts Charity. In her previous role Fiona was COO of an impact investment firm, leading the firm’s work with charities and social enterprises.

Mike Yule

Mike is a former lawyer turned primary school teacher, now teaching at the University of Chichester in the Education Department, specialising in Global Citizenship Inclusion and Professional Studies. He is also chair of Governors at his local primary school.

Emma Tong

Currently a Deputy Headteacher and Teaching School Director, Emma has been a primary school teacher for the last 13 years. After completing her masters degree in 2012, Emma developed a specific interest in promoting opportunities for pupils to learn through classroom talk. More recently, Emma’s interest has been in challenging gender stereotyping in schools specifically through looking at the choices of texts, topics and learning approaches schools are using.

John Jackson

John is a freelance strategy consultant helping non-profit organisations with their public engagement campaigns. John has 20 years experience running major international campaigns and has helped in the development of some of the key campaigns of recent years: Burmese democracy, landmines, poor country debt, child bonded labour, world bank/IMF reform, low wage workers’ rights and housing rights.


Dame Alison Peacock

Patron, Alison Peacock

We are delighted that Professor Dame Alison Peacock, Chief Executive of the Chartered College of Teaching, has agreed to be our first Patron.  A renowned educator whose career has spanned primary, secondary and advisory roles, Dame Alison is also a trustee of Teach First and the author of Assessment for Learning Without Limits.

Lifting Limits CIC

Lifting Limits CIC is a Community Interest Company limited by guarantee with an asset lock in place to protect its assets. This means that it is not established, nor its business conducted, for private gain.

Company number 11170602

Registered office: 85 Great Portland Street, First Floor, London, W1W 7LT