GMB Equality and Inclusion events

Take a look at what you can get involved in

Upcoming GMB Equality and Inclusion events

Equality is at the heart of everything GMB does.

We are here to ensure that our members are treated fairly and the workplaces we organise are inclusive for all.

In 2021 we hosted a series of online Equality and Inclusion events. These included panel speaker events, training events, conversations with activists and more.

Find out more about past events below and check this page in future for new equality events.

To find out more about the GMB’s equality and inclusion work and to get involved head to the GMB Equalities page. Make sure you look at your GMB region's webpages for events in your region too. If you have any questions contact us on equalityinclusion@gmb.org.uk.

Past events


Pride Month 2021

June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender + (LGBT+) Pride month. The month marks the anniversary of the Stonewall riots in 1969 in New York which many consider to have birthed the LGBT+ pride movement. GMB marked the month with online events focussing on experiences and action we can take to defend and extend LGBT+ rights, inside and outside the workplace.


LGBT+ at Work: Through the Decades

30 June 6.30pm – 8pm

We closed the month with a fantastic opportunity to hear from GMB LGBT+ members and activists about being LGBT+ at work through the years. We heard first-hand from people from around the UK and of all ages telling us about their experiences of being out – or not – in their workplaces. 

This event was chaired by national GMB LGBT+ Strand Lead Angela Gilraine. We were joined by Andrew Lumsden and Ted Brown, pioneering UK LGBT+ activists of the civil rights group Gay Liberation Front.


Pride is a Protest: Protesting for Global LGBT+ Rights

24 June 6.30pm – 8pm

At this panel event we heard from inspiring activists from the UK and other countries who've protested for the rights of LGBT+ people.

Speakers included Aderonke Apata from African Rainbow Family, a UK organisation which supports LGBT+ people of African Heritage including refugees and people seeking asylum, and Julia Maciocha, Chair of Warsaw Pride. We heard from Mazharul Islam, SOGIESC (Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, Gender Expression, Sex Characteristics) activist from Bangladesh who left his country in 2016 after the homophobic murder of two friends, and Morgan Kanyike from Youth On Rock Foundation in Uganda. 

Co-Chaired by national GMB LGBT+ Strand Lead Angela Gilraine and national GMB Race Strand Lead Taranjit Chana.


Windrush Day 2021: Where do they stand now?

23 June 6.00pm – 7.30pm

GMB Union's national Race Strand Leads network invited all GMB members to hear from activists and those impacted by the ongoing Windrush scandal.

The events which were revealed in 2018 have not gone away: Windrush generation migrants and their children are still being denied their legal rights and threatened with deportation. The government compensation scheme is not wide enough to deliver justice to all those affected.

At this event we heard from Eastenders actor Ace Ruele who is facing deportation to Jamaica despite having only visited the country twice and having children in the UK. We were also delighted to be joined by Manchester-based peace activist Professor Erinma Bell. Finally, we heard about community organising initiatives and what trade unions can do.

This event marked Windrush Day, June 22. #Windrush73 #WidenWindrush


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GMB and Just A Ball Game? Stronger Together Online

19 June 1pm – 3.15pm

Just a Ball Game? hosted a special online version of their Stronger Together event. JBG? Is an award-winning organisation which promotes equality and anti-discrimination in sport, aiming to ensure that LGBT+ people can support and take part in sport without experiencing homophobia, biphobia or transphobia.

This was a family-friendly event. We heard from sportspeople, learnt how to be a good ally to LGBT+ people, had some half-time musical entertainment and rounded off with JBG?’s LGBT+ quiz.


Mental Health Awareness Week: 10 - 16 May 2021

GMB Yorkshire and North Derbyshire’s Regional Equality Forum hosted a series of short online events to mark Mental Health Awareness Week, along with GMB Wales and South West Region which launched their Men's Mental Health campaign on May 10th.

Monday 10 May, 6 - 7pm

Real Clear - How nature and the environment has a positive effect on mental health. Simple step by step guidance to get you on the road to wellbeing.

Monday 10 May, 6pm

GMB Wales and South West - Asda A50 Branch: Men's Mental Health campaign launch

Members were joined by Dave Kings from Men’s Sheds. Reps have written a poem based on their experiences and a GMB rep will be sharing his journey through his struggle with mental health.

Tuesday 11 May, 6pm - 7pm

Support, advice and signposting. Don’t suffer in silence. With speakers from Andy’s Man Club, Unmasked Mental Health and the James Burke Foundation.

Wednesday 12 May, 6pm - 7pm

More in Common: The impact of loneliness on mental health, coping mechanisms including exercise, and where to go for support.

Thursday 13 May, 6 - 7pm

Unmasked Mental Health: Session on how to deal with anxiety and stress


7 April | 6 - 7.30pm

Black Workers Organising for a Seat at the Table

The National Race Network, led by lay members, held this webinar open to GMB members who identify as black, Asian, ethnic minoritised backgrounds. The webinar's aim was to help, support, empower and provide attendees with the tools to organise in the workplace and get involved in the GMB structures from rep/steward, branch level to national as a lay activist.

30 March | 6.30pm

Women's History Month: Trans Women and Non-Binary History

In the week of Transgender Day of Visibility (31 March) we heard from speakers about their lives as trans women and non-binary people. How has being trans changed in their lifetime? Who from trans history inspires them? What are they looking to change in the 2020s and beyond? GMB women and LGBT+ members, friends and allies were invited to join us for this engaging discussion.

Chaired by GMB Wilko branch rep Christina Dearlove. Speakers included activist and writer Christine Burns, writer and photograph Sophie Cook and artist-activist Katlego Kai Kolanyane-Kesupile

A palantypist/speech-to-text reporter was provided.

24 March | 6.30pm

Women's History Month: Migrant Women Workers' Lives

Migrant women can face particular challenges in the world of work - including exploitation and lack of opportunities to progress on top of navigating immigration processes and managing home life. Migrant women can be more vulnerable to abuse and harassment, and can find it more difficult to get the right support.

At this special event for Women’s History Month we heard from migrant women GMB activists and expert speakers from other migrant organisations about what we can do today to improve the working lives of migrant women.

Chair: GMB National Race Strand Lead Taranjit Chana


Gisela Valle, Director - Latin American Women's Rights Service
Susan Cueva, Trustee - Kanlungan Filipino Consortium
Samanta Zubrute, GMB CEC member
Asha Wije, GMB Legal Officer

Speech To Text Reporter/palantypist was provided for this event.


23 March | 6 - 8pm

Menopause Toolkit Launch: Smash the Stigma!

We launched the GMB’s national Menopause in the Workplace: Smash The Stigma! campaign and toolkit.

The menopause is a workplace issue. There are over 40 symptoms of the menopause and for many workers these symptoms can have a significant impact at work.

GMB activists have campaigned on the menopause as a workplace issue for many years. We have now brought together best practice from across the union and produced a national GMB Menopause toolkit which includes a model workplace policy, factsheet, survey and more.

This interactive workshop introduced attendees to the new materials and how you can use them to campaign and bargain for better support in your workplace around the menopause.

GMB members of all genders were welcome but we especially encouraged reps and branch secretaries to join us. Whether you’ve campaigned around the menopause before or want to find out more, we came together to discuss progress to make the workplace safer and more inclusive for everyone.

Chair – GMB National Equality and Inclusion Officer Nell Andrew

A Speech To Text Reporter/palantypist was provided for this event.


18 March | 6 - 7.30pm

Women's History Month: Women and Neurodiversity at Work

This session looked at our Thinking Differently at Workworkplace policy and toolkit as part of Womens History Month and Neurodiversity Celebration Week 2021.

Sessions were led by GMB neurodivergent women activists and discussed the barriers and challenges that are faced in both diagnosis and support in the workplace.

Statistically women are less likely to be diagnosed as Neurodivergent than men (currently men are 3 times more likely to be diagnosed as autistic) and this raises the prospect of many women in work who have yet to be diagnosed and able to receive the help they need to improve their lives.

We discussed why this is an issue for the wider trade union movement and how we as trade unionists can improve workplaces for the better.

This session was aimed at neurodivergent women and reps of any gender.

The event was chaired by GMB British Gas rep Claire Turner with sessions led by Jo Smith, GMB SECAmb Sussex rep and neurodiversity lead and Izzy Pochin, GMB LGBTI+ and Disabled Members Officer for Dorset branch. We were joined by Emma Lewell-Buck MP.

A Speech To Text Reporter/palantypist was provided for this event.

8 March  | 10am

GMB North West and Irish - International Women’s Day

GMB’s North West and Irish region celebrated women activists and activism on International Women’s Day 2021. Members joined to hear latest updates, guest speakers and getting support for Women on the Front Line.

8 March | 6.30pm

GMB Midland and East Coast – International Women’s Day

GMB Midland and East Coast Women’s Committee hosted an online celebration of International Women's Day 2021. They were joined by Barbara Plant, GMB President, as well as campaigners against domestic abuse and frontline workers from across the Midland & East Coast.

Read more

3 March | 6pm

Maximising Black Activism in Trade Unions

GMB National Race Leads is a self-organised group of passionate GMB representatives determined to push the agenda forward for black* workers and to highlight injustices and campaign for positive change.

This was the first event of this newly formed group and drew on a mixture of experiences as we explored our people's own personal journeys and most importantly activating black activism in trade unions. As workers of colour, we have a strong voice, and this showcase event was about offering inspiration and motivation to everyone in the GMB and wider trade union movement. Our place is in this movement and our voices will be heard.

This was a panel speaker event. We heard from GMB activists Robbie Scott and Charlaine Nkum, Sarah Owen MP and UNISON Assistant General Secretary Roger Mckenzie.

*For the purposes of this event black is used in a political context.

Watch back here

26 February | 6:30pm

Celebrating the Past, Championing the Future

GMB Birmingham and West Midlands region is inviting members from across the UK to join their regional LGBT+ History Month event.

Join the region on Facebook for an evening of discussion on the strides we’ve made and the challenges we still face in the LGBT+ community.  

Speakers include Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners member, campaigner and activist Mike Jackson and founder of Unmuted Birmingham, artist, activist, and producer Suriya Aisha.  

Like the region's Facebook page to receive a notification when the event goes live. 

Watch back here


24 February | 6:30pm

LGBT+ Mental Health and Covid-19

Our final event of LGBT+ History Month was a fringe for the TUC LGBT+ Conference. We considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on LGBT+ Mental Health. LGBT+ people experience poor mental health at higher rates then straight, cisgender people. We spokeabout how the pandemic has affected this. 

We also looked at the results of the recent GMB Covid-19 Mental Health member survey.

Chaired by Brian Shaw, Co-Chair of the GMB National Equality Forum and Chair of GMB London Shout. Speakers included the LGBT Foundation on their Hidden Figures: The Impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic on LGBT Communities research.

22 February | 6:00pm

Trans and Non-binary Inclusion: the Workplace and Beyond

Trans and non-binary workers can face discrimination, harassment and bullying at work.

We heard from trans and non-binary GMB members and activists about what’s helped them within and outside the workplace, what more they need, and how we can all better support trans and non-binary people.

The event was be chaired by GMB Birmingham and West Midlands Region LGBT+ activist Christina Dearlove. Speakers were queer Muslim feminist activist Maryam Din and Alex Woolhouse, Pro Bono and Legal Strategy Co-ordinator at Mermaids.


19 February | 6:00pm

LGBT+ Black lives matter

GMB LGBT+ members are diverse and include people of all backgrounds, nationalities, and ethnicities. LGBT+ Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people can face a double whammy of homophobia and transphobia and racism in the workplace and in society.

At this event we heard from GMB members and LGBT+ activists about discrimination at work and in LGBT spaces. The chair was GMB Race Strand Lead Taranjit Chana. Speakers were academic and Newham borough Councillor Dr Rohit K Dasgupta, artist Michael Barnes-Wynter and GMB activist Dawn Lovatt.


10 February | 6:30pm

LGBT+ at Work: Through the Decades

This event will be rescheduled to Pride Month, June 2021. Keep an eye on this page and GMB Equality on social media for the new date.


Inclusivity and respect statement

GMB is committed to organising activities at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful, and safe environment.   

We have zero tolerance for any type of harassment, including sexual harassment or transphobia. Aggressive, offensive, intimidatory, disrespectful or unacceptable behaviour or comments will not be tolerated.  Attendees at events will be asked to agree to this statement before confirming their event registration.

This applies to all aspects of communication at or in connection with an event, including postings on social media.   

This supports the commitment set out in our rulebook to promote equality for all and to eliminate all forms of harassment. 

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