GMB Equality


GMB Equality

Welcome to
GMB Equality

GMB Union is a union for everyone. Find out about our events, conferences, changes to equality legislation and useful tools and resources to work towards making equality a reality in your workplace. 

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Why is equality a trade union issue?

GMB members come from all backgrounds and identities. We know that workers of different backgrounds can have different challenges in the workplace - from unequal pay to bullying and harrassment. 

That's why GMB members organise around equality: to make sure that all workers are treated with respect, have opportunities to progress, and can get justice for unfair treatment. There are laws around equality at work, but we know that it takes trade union members taking action to make sure they're enforced.

GMB organises members who belong to five equality groups or strands - what the government calls having a ‘protected characteristic’:

GMB Women Workers     GMB Race     

GMB Disabled Workers     GMB LGBT+ Workers

GMB Young Workers

You can find out more at the links above about the problems we know members of these groups face at work.


How does GMB help members from different backgrounds?

Equality is at the heart of everything GMB does. We are here to make sure our members are treated fairly and that the workplaces we organise in are inclusive for all.

Each of our branches has a position for a Branch Equality Officer. These activists - ordinary GMB members like you - help advise workers on equality issues and help them organise in their workplace on what is most important to them.

GMB's Regional Equality Officers are staff members who support regional self-organised groups to campaign on what matters to them at work.

Our National Equality Department, Women's Campaign Unit and National Race Organiser coordinate campaigns and events across regions and develop new policies to help members at work.


Want to get involved with GMB Equality?

Have a look at the 'Get involved' and 'Campaigns' tabs on this page to find out more, and keep an eye on our events page for a diverse programme of national equality and inclusion events.

Contact your Regional Equality Officer for details of local events, campaigns and to get involved with regional self-organised groups. 

London Hilda Tavolara - hilda.tavolara@gmb.org.uk

Midlands Katy Statham - katy.statham@gmb.org.uk

North East, Yorkshire and the Humber Julie Wynn - julie.wynn@gmb.org.uk and Lou Foster-Wilson louise.foster-wilson@gmb.org.uk

North West Maria Almond - maria.almond@gmb.org.uk

Ireland Denise Walker - denise.walker@gmb.org.uk

Scotland Sandie Rowlands - sandie.rowlands@gmb.org.uk

Southern Michelle Gordon - michelle.gordon@gmb.org.uk

Wales & South West Marie McDonald - marie.mcdonald@gmb.org.uk


For any other enquiries, contact:

National Office

Eleanor Saunders, National Equality and Inclusion Coordinator - EqualityInclusion@gmb.org.uk

Megan Fisher, Women's Campaign Unit Membership Development Officer - megan.fisher@gmb.org.uk

Tyehimba Nosakhere, National Race Organiser - tyehimba.nosakhere@gmb.org.uk


Equality News

National Equality Forum (NEF)


The National Equality Forum (NEF) is the GMB’s national advisory group on equality and inclusion, made up of 17 GMB activists: 

  • 11 Regional reps - nominated by their GMB region 
  • a national strand lead for each equality strand: women workers, LGBT+ workers, race, disabled workers - elected by members nominated by their regions
  • the Chair of the Young Workers committee
  • a member elected by the Retired Members Association

All NEF members identify with at least one of the five equality strands which GMB organises around. Many have intersectional identities, belonging to more than one strand.

NEF members can be from any GMB industrial section: Public Services, Commercial Services or Manufacturing.


What does the National Equality Forum do? 

The Forum acts as a link between equality organising regionally, nationally, and across GMB equality strands and self-organised groups. This includes sharing best practice and highlighting key issues. 

Members of the Forum help organise the National Equality Conference, national summits, webinars and national equality campaigns. 

The NEF aims to grow the union through workplace campaigning and by making work better for the full diversity of GMB members.  

Got a passion for equalities and want to make a difference in your workplace? Contact your regional equality officer.


Self-Organised Groups


GMB Women Workers     GMB Race     

GMB Disabled Workers     GMB LGBT+ Workers

GMB Young Workers

GMB regions have self-organised groups (SOGs) which bring together workers from groups that face discrimination, underrepresentation, or barriers because of their identity.

GMB knows that to fight discrimination and prejudice at work, people who are directly affected - people who have ‘lived experience’ - must lead and have a voice in our union. We know that people who experience discrimination are the experts in tackling it, so our work in each equality strand is led by members of that strand.

SOGs provide a safer space for members facing issues or barriers in the workplace due to their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality/gender identity or young age. Getting active in an SOG is a great way to meet members like you - and to get campaigning to make work better.


What self-organised groups can I join?

  • GMB Sisters – for women members 
  • GMB Race – for Black, Asian and ethnic minority members 
  • GMB Disabled workers – for disabled members 
  • GMB Shout – for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT+) members
  • GMB Young Members – for members 30 years old and under


How do they work? 

The members of each SOG decide how regularly to meet. Members decide what workplace issues to focus on each year, with the support of their Regional Equality Officer. 

GMB self-organised groups:  

  • Create workplace policies to support and protect members, leading on successful campaigns including trans equality, hate crime, period dignity and the menopause  
  • Organise equality conferences and training
  • Send delegates and motions to TUC equality conferences and GMB Congress
  • Represent GMB at Pride, community events and anti-fascist demonstrations all over the UK and Ireland.

Get involved today: Contact your Regional Equality Officer


TUC Conferences and Committees

The TUC holds four equality conferences every year - Black Workers, LGBT+ Workers, Women Workers and Disabled Workers - plus the Young Workers Conference. The conferences bring together members of each of the equality strands, debating and deciding the next steps for worker liberation. GMB regions send delegates to all of the conferences.

Each conference is planned by a TUC Committee: the Race Relations, LGBT+, Women and Disabled Workers Committees and the Young Workers Forum. These committees are made up of ordinary trade union members like you.

If you want to attend a TUC conference or be nominated to be one of the GMB's members on the committees, get in touch with your region.

Get involved today: Contact your Regional Equality Officer





Monaghan Report


In 2020, an independent report into sexual harassment, culture and equality at GMB was published and a taskforce was formed to advise on changes needed. You can read updates on this work here.


Equality News


Thinking Differently at Work

GMB's Thinking Differently at Work – Toolkit on Neurodiversity in the Workplace includes a model employer policy aimed at making the world of work more inclusive

Smash the Stigma

Menopause is a workplace issue. The Smash the Stigma campaign organises GMB activists and members to push for a progressive and inclusive approach to menopause in the workplace

Reasonable Adjustment Passport

A reasonable adjustment passport is a record of adjustments agreed between a disabled worker and their employer. We're campaigning to get all employers to use the passport to make work better for disabled people

Domestic Abuse Charter

The GMB Work to Stop Domestic Abuse campaign calls on employers to support workers experiencing domestic abuse


Equality News

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