The NUJ celebrates IWD2023
For #IWD2023 the NUJ says the best way to improve women’s rights in the workplace is to join the union
March 8 is International Women’s Day which celebrates women’s achievements and calls out inequality.
The NUJ’s Equality Council is using the day to persuade union members to recruit a woman to the union.
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is embracing equity. Equity is not about making sure everyone has the same, equal opportunity. It is about recognising for certain groups of people barriers need to be removed so they can get access these opportunities. In the workplace it is a systemic approach to ensure that policies address the specific needs of disabled workers, or black women so they are recognised for their talents and have a fair crack getting the jobs and promotion their better connected or non-disabled colleagues achieve.
Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary, said:
“This International Women’s Day we are asking you to recruit a woman to the NUJ. By joining our union they will become part of a movement which is fighting for equity in the workplace. It is the union movement pressing employers to address the pay gaps that yawn between men and women and those which see disabled and minority ethnic workers being paid less.
“It is also the passport for a journey that will see you meet a great bunch of women who can help you with your career and your progression in the workplace.
“Unions want to see radical change that addresses the barriers excluding so many, particularly in the media. There are many women who would flourish in newsrooms and publishing houses, but they don’t have the contacts, they don’t know who to write to or email, they can’t afford to build up stints of exploitative, unpaid work experience.
“Or maybe they have the experience already, but simply need some additional flexibility, some practical equipment, or a change in working pattern so they can work on equal terms with colleagues. Often it is the union rep who makes that happen.
“That is why the NUJ says #EmbraceEquity.”
There are many reasons for women to join the NUJ. Here are just a few:
“Join the NUJ to combat gendered ageism in the workplace and fight for equal training and career opportunities for older women in the media.” Jenny Sims, freelance and co-chair NUJ 60+ Council.
“It’s fantastic to join a union, I’ve been given brilliant training, and through my union role helped to shape policy by bringing in gender diverse interview panels at the BBC, and therefore increasing equality for women.” Leoni Robertson, NEC Black Members Seat.
“When that office banter is actually sexual harassment, we’ll call it out.” Christina Lago, Equality Council member.
“IWD is not only an opportunity to celebrate women’s achievements, but also to draw attention to many issues women still face in the workplace, such as pay parity, flexible working, pregnancy and maternity discrimination. We campaign to end violence and abuse against women. In 2022, UNESCO’s global survey showed that 73 per cent of the women journalists surveyed reported having faced online violence while doing their job. Join the NUJ in defending women’s rights and #EmbraceEquity.” Natasha Morris, NUJ legal and equality officer said
“A woman’s place is in her union and as a freelance being part of a network of mutual support is part of my every day. The NUJ is the union for freelance journalists and has a freelance charter that promotes and supports our rights.” Caroline Holmes, head of NUJ trade union training. Fair Deal for Freelances
“Join the NUJ. We fight for equal pay in the BBC and everywhere else.” Raj Ford, BBC secondee. BBC presenter Samira Ahmed on how the NUJ won her case when she found a male colleague was paid six times more than her.
“I’m an NUJ activist because the union is committed to understanding how disabled women, LBT+ women, Black women, self-employed or freelance women and other groups of women media workers are impacted by different issues. Covid safety remains an urgent workplace issue. Two million people in the UK have Long Covid at the moment. And 57 per cent of those are women.” Ann Galpin, chair of NUJ disabled members’ council and co-chair of TUC disabled workers’ committee.
Meet some of our women members. And NUJ vice-president Natsha Hirst explains how she has benefited from being a union activist.