Panel Biographies

Will Hutton, a leading voice on economics and fairness in society, is the Principal of Hertford College, Oxford University. He is also the Chair of the Big Innovation Centre at The Work Foundation, an independent, not for dividend research based consultancy which is the most influential voice on work, workplace and employment issues in Britain.
Beginning his career in the City as a stockbroker and investment analyst, Will moved into television and radio with the BBC, working as both producer and reporter, and was the economics editor of Newsnight from 1983-88. Will spent four years as Editor-in-Chief of the Observer, for which he still writes a weekly column; he also regularly contributes to the Guardian and the Financial Times.
Will is a governor of the London School of Economics, an honorary fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford University, a member of the Scott Trust and a fellow of the Sunningdale Institute.
Publications include The State We’re In (1996), The World We’re In (2002), The Writing on the Wall (2007), Them and Us: Changing Britain – Why we need a fair society (2010).


Stephen Machin, is a Professor of Economics at University College London and Research Director of the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics. He has also been the President of the European Association of Labour Economists. Stephen is a member of the Low Pay Commission, the body which makes recommendations to the government regarding the national minimum wage.
Stephen’s research areas include labour economics, the economics of education and the economics of crime and industrial relations.
Publications include Rising Wage Inequality and Postgraduate Education, Joanne Lindley & Stephen Machin (2011), Inequality of Educational Outcomes R Freeman, S Machin, M Viarengo (2011) and the new economics of education: methods, evidence and policy, Stephen Machin (2008).


Libby Purves OBE, is a writer, radio broadcaster and journalist. In 1971 she joined the BBC as a studio manager and in 1976 joined the Today programme as the show’s first female presenter and also the youngest ever. Libby currently presents Radio 4’s Midweek and also writes for The Times and is presently the Chief Theatre Critic.
Publications include the ‘How not to’ series on childcare, One Summer’s Grace: A Family Voyage Round Britain (1989), novels including Shadow Child (2009), Love Songs and Lies (2007) and Mother Country (2002).
Libby holds a first-class English degree from St Anne’s College, Oxford.


Sir Peter Lampl, is acknowledged to be the UK’s leading educational philanthropist, having personally invested tens of millions of pounds and devoted the last 15 years to strategic educational philanthropy. Peter is the founder and chairman of the Sutton Trust which aims to improve social mobility through education. The Trust has funded over 100 research studies in the areas of social mobility and education but it is primarily a ‘do tank’. The Trust has initiated and supported a wide range of projects, from early years, through primary and secondary schooling and access to higher education and the professions.
In April of 2011, the Sutton Trust as the lead charity supported by Impetus Trust was awarded an endowment of £125 million by the Government to improve the performance of poor children in the worst performing schools. Peter is chairman of the Education Endowment Foundation, the new foundation set up by the Sutton Trust to manage this programme.
Peter holds a Bachelor and a Masters degree from Oxford University and a Masters degree from the London Business School.


Tanith Dodge, joined Marks & Spencer as Director of Human Resources in March 2008. She is a member of the M&S Management Committee, leading HR for its 78,000 employees across the UK and 42 territories internationally.
Before joining M&S, Tanith was Group Human Resources Director at WH Smith, where she also held responsibility for Public Relations, Communications and Post Office Operations. Prior to this, she was Senior Vice President Human Resources for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), at InterContinental Hotels Group. Tanith has also held senior HR roles at Diageo Plc and Prudential Corporation Plc.
Tanith is an active member of the BiTC Workwell Leadership Team and sits on the Board of the BiTC Business Action on Homelessness campaign.
Tanith is member of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills’ Employee Engagement Taskforce. Launched in early 2011, the independent taskforce aims to improve workplace productivity through higher motivation and engagement.