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Imagine a gender equal world.

A world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.

A world where difference is valued and celebrated.

Together we can forge women's equality.

Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.

Whether deliberate or unconscious, bias makes it difficult for women to move ahead. Knowing that bias exists isn’t enough, action is needed to level the playing field. 

To mark International Women’s Month’s #breakthebias campaign this March, we’ve chosen 5 inspirational women in STEM from across LSBU & SBI who are “breaking the bias”.  

Iyabosola Miedzianowska, Lizzie Jackson, Pippa Palmer, Dr Deborah Andrews, Kristina Kerwin, and Rachel Picton, were chosen by our team for their inspirational journeys, the drive and the potential impact on their respective STEM fields.

While women make up about 47% of the total workforce, they are statistically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, or STEM. Despite this, some of the most notable STEM achievements came from women. The internet wouldn’t exist without the guidance of women engineers.

Thankfully, the number of women in STEM occupations increases each year. This includes women enrolled in STEM majors at universities, and women occupying in board roles and stationed in C-suite positions in STEM companies. Women accounted for 24% of the STEM workforce in 2019. This is only expected to rise to 29% by 2030.

Continue reading to meet our inspiring women and find out more about them in each interview.

Iyabosola "Yabby" Miedzianowka, Food Technologist for SBI's LAFIC programme.
Iyabosola Miedzianowska

Iyabosola (Yabby) Miedzianowska is a  Food Technologist in London South BankUniversity's LAFIC programme.

Yabby has 21 years of multi-category experience of the food manufacturing and hospitality industry. She has extensive knowledge and experience in roles spanning from new process and product development, quality assurance, technical, food safety and compliance, as well as a seasoned trainer.

“I believe it is a good way to highlight the importance of women in the society, it is a day of recognition for the women who are holding the fort against all odds” –Iyabosola Miedzianowsk

Yabby had worked with large manufacturers, major retailers, the NHS and University students. Currently, Yabby helps SMEs to see their ideas developed to a household brand through the LAFIC programme.

Find out more about Yabby, her work at SBI and her STEM journey through her IWM Interview.


Professor Lizzie Jackson, Director of Research and Enterprise for LSBU's School of Arts & Creative Industries. Lizzie supports our creative tech and immersive tech programmes, ACE IT & Hi3 Network.

Lizzie Jackson 

Professor Lizzie Jackson is Director of Research and Enterprise for the School of Arts and Creative Industries. She is also an Advisor to the UK Intellectual Property Office and has advised the Council of Europe on the governance of public service media and digital citizenship.

Before becoming an academic Lizzie worked for BBC Radio (1983-1996). As Managing Director of Soundbite Productions Limited (1991-1996) 80% of her radio documentaries were critics choice of the day. 

She was named ‘One of the 100 Innovators of the UK Internet Decade’ by NOP World in 2004 for her work encouraging the development of Online Communities in the UK, and Internet Safety.

“We all need to say “come in, the water’s lovely!”  There’s so much women can offer in STEM”. –Lizzie Jackson 

Lizzie, as head of the Division of Creative Technologies, works extremely closely with the SBI team. They have two London Sites, one building contains studios for researchers and small to medium businesses to work together on novel products, services, and experiences. The other is exploring immersive media. This allows researchers in Lizzie’s team to have the studios, time, and equipment to innovate through their applied research.

Get to know Lizzie better in our IWM interview.

Pippa Palmer is a Research Strategist for LSBU's School of Built Environment & Architecture. She also helps organise LSBU's Emergency Climate Series.


Pippa Palmer

Pippa is a Research Strategist in LSBU School of the Built Environment and freelance consultant.

Alongside her Research Strategist role, Pippa also helps to organise LSBU's Emergency Climate Series events, drawing on her specialisms of systems change and root cause analysis.

“Having ridden the tail end of 2nd wave feminism, I’ll be waving the flag for women’s rights until I draw my last breath”. – Pippa Palmer

Pippa is the creator of Ghosts and Gaps - a research and insight audit which interrogates service user beliefs / behaviours along with gap analysis / organisational processes, to re-design customers journey to reduce frictions and drive changes in behaviour, engagement or compliance.

Find out more about Pippa’s journey and experience as a woman in STEM in our IWM interview.


Dr Deborah Andrews is an Associate Professor of Design in LSBU's School of Engineering. She is the academic lead for the CEDaCI project, and supports the SimDH and Sustainable Innovation programmes.

Dr Deborah Andrews

Dr Deborah Andrews holds a PhD in Sustainable Design and Manufacture. As well as being an Associate Professor of Design in LSBU's School of Engineering, she is currently the academic lead for Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry (CEDaCI).

In 2020 Deborah won the LSBU Sustainability in Action Staff Award for her contribution to sustainability at the University and her work has been included in the 2021 UK Government Climate Change Committee report.  

“[T]here are many highly talented and very respected female designers working in the field who offer different perspectives and approaches to problems and are therefore employed by forward-thinking businesses.”

Dr Andrews recently spoke at the Open Compute Project Global Summit in November 2021 and delivered the keynote presentation at the Innovative Technologies in Mechanical Engineering conference in December.

Find out more about Dr Deborah Andrews’ role, work, and role models in her IWM interview.

Kristina Kerwin is a Research Assistant for CEDaCI, as well as an alumnus from LSBU

Kristina Kerwin

Kris is a Research Assistant for Circular Economy for the Data Centre Industry (CEDaCI) and LSBU alumnus. She grew up grew up with the inspirational imagery of women achieving many societal goals - including her own family.  

“I remember it being a national holiday when I was a child …My mother always used to bring home loads of red tulips on the 8th March.” - Kristina Kerwin

Kris’ work sees her designing, drawing, and CAD modelling, to disassembling IT equipment and creating component inventories, to reporting and writing conference papers, or life cycle assessment modelling.

You can read more about Kris’ role and inspirations in her IWM interview.

Rachel Picton is Dean of the School of Allied and Community Health within LSBU's Institute of Health and Social Care.

Rachel Picton

Rachel Picton, Dean of the School of Allied and Community Health at the Institute of Health and Social Care, joined London South Bank University (LSBU) as an associate professor for radiotherapy diagnostics in 2017. With an extensive background in clinical and leadership roles across the health sector Rachel is a member of the Society and College of Radiographers and on the Radiographer, Education Visitor and Registration Assessor Health and Care Professions Councils. Rachel is also a successful business owner. 

“From a young age, girls need to see that routes into these professions are accessible to them and be encouraged wherever to apply”. –Rachel Picton

Over five years, her progression has aligned with the evolution of the institute, which is one of the largest providers of clinical education for allied health and related professions in the UK. Developing the workforce of the future, the school helps students to achieve their own versions of success whilst contributing to the health of society.   

Find out more about Rachel’s journey and experience as a woman in STEM in our IWM interview.

South Bank Innovation are on a mission to increase access to opportunities to women, who are underrepresented in STEM, business and entrepreneurship.

Find out how we can support you to:

  • Learn new skills
  • Gain accredited units of Levels 1-5 qualifications
  • Start and grow a business
  • Develop new to market product
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