Introducing Sex Matters’ Advisory Group

We’re excited to welcome a panel of exceptional women and men who will share their experience and expertise in fields ranging from sport, politics, academia, law and the creative arts to business, healthcare and campaigning.

Our new advisory group are people who believe that “sex matters in law and in life and it shouldn’t take courage to say so”. 

Sex matters in every walk of life, in very obvious ways and more subtle ones. Our advisory group members represent a wide range of personal and professional experiences and links to wider networks.

The very core of our being

Keira Bell was a teenager when she went through the process of trying to change sex. Instead of therapy which would have helped her explore the complicated reasons behind her feelings, she was fast-tracked onto a treatment path involving drugs and surgery. The permanent changes she’s experienced will affect the rest of her life.

Keira Bell: "Sex matters because it is at the very core of our being in life. I believe that it is extremely important for us to see the mind and body as one, working together."

Explaining how sex matters in health is central to the work of several of our panel members.

Milli Hill is a writer with a passion for positively reframing the narrative around women’s bodies and female biology. She is the bestselling author of The Positive Birth Book, Give Birth like a Feminist, and My Period (for preteen girls), and is also a freelance journalist.

Marcus Evans brings vital experience as a psychoanalyst, consultant psychotherapist and mental health nurse; he has 40 years’ experience in mental health. He was head of the nursing discipline at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust between 1998 and 2018.

Fairness and safety

“Having been an elite athlete, I have seen with my own eyes every day that sex matters in sport,” says Mara Yamauchi. A former elite athlete, two-time Olympian, and the UK’s second fastest female marathon runner, Mara now works as a coach, mentor, commentator and writer. She’s particularly interested in fairness and safety for female athletes at all levels. 

Fairness and safety are under threat across society, as our experts in law, government and statistics are all too aware. Jo Phoenix is a Professor in Criminology who has spent more than 20 years researching women, young people, crime and justice. “At present, we live in a society structured by profound class, sex and age based inequalities,” she explains. “Sex matters because it shapes where we are in relation to those inequalities.”

Sex matters for the integrity of data that underpins organisations, so we welcome statistics expert Simon Briscoe to the group. “Data will only reveal the important similarities and differences in a population if the statistical categories and definitions used in a data set have been chosen with rigour and clarity of thought,“ he says. “Only then will we have good figures to underpin policy making and improve our collective understanding of the world. In short… sex matters.”

Joan Smith: "We are facing an epidemic of male violence and we need accurate statistics, based on the sex of victim and perpetrator, if we are to understand and fight it."

Fellow member of the advisory group Cathy Pitt is a consultant partner in a large City and international law firm. Over her 25-year career in the City, she has built expertise in corporate governance, boardroom risk, financial services regulation and critical analysis. She believes that sex matters in the boardroom and that boards need a clear understanding of the current law – and how failure to apply it correctly could pose risks to their businesses.

Meet the Advisory Group 

Find out about all the members of our Advisory Group and why they know that sex matters.

Milli Hill: "If we take away the language to describe the biological reality of being female, we risk losing the ability to fight back against poor treatment on the basis of our biological sex."