'Our fight for equality never stops'

Unite Equalities to host International Women's Day online event - join us!

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This week on UniteLIve, we’ve featured a number of our inspiring women members in the lead up to International Women’s Day today (March 8) – if you’ve missed any of our stories, you can read them all here.

But International Women’s Day celebrations don’t stop today – tomorrow (March 9) Unite Equalities is hosting a special IWD online event from 10.30-11am. The event is open to all and will feature more Unite women reps who will speak about how they’re taking the fight for women’s equalities straight to the heart of the workplace.  

Among the speakers at the event is Unite rep Michelle Bowsher, who will discuss how she’s helped set up a groundbreaking domestic violence policy in her finance sector workplace, Principality Building Society. The policy will include two weeks domestic violence leave, among other notably progressive conditions.

Meanwhile, Unite rep Laura Roberts, who works at automotive giant Ford, will speak about how she’s negotiated a similarly outstanding menopause agreement in her workplace.

A number of Unite women reps will share their experience with industrial action in their workplaces, including Unite rep Jane McQuire, who works for bus company Abellio in London.

Last year, more than 1,800 Abellio bus workers went on strike and won an 18 per cent pay rise – one of the best bus pay deals in the capital. Jane was instrumental in increasing membership density at Abellio, which paved the way for this important victory.

Other strikes discussed by Unite women reps will include Heathrow Airport, charity Oxfam, public sector strikes in Northern Ireland, and those currently being taken by caterers at Drax power station.

The incredible diversity of workplaces where women are making their mark – both in disputes and in negotiations – demonstrates the collective strength of women in Unite, as the speakers at tomorrow’s event will show. 

The event will be an interactive one, with questions being taken from participants by Angela Duerden, Unite executive council member for women, while Unite national women’s committee chair Jane Stewart will chair the event.  

This is only a flavour of what will be happening at the Unite Equalities I WD online event — you can register to attend here.

Commenting ahead of the event, Unite national officer for equalities Alison Spencer-Scragg said, “International Women’s Day is an opportunity to not only remember the struggles and resistance that women across the world have endured but also to recognise the many achievements that are being won today by our members and activists. 

“Our fight for equality never stops and our reps are demanding equal work, an equal voice and equal pay,” she added. “We continually challenge discrimination in workplaces by representation and our collective strength so our event this year is particularly focusing on those gains for women’s equality.”

By Hajera Blagg