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GMB has been at the forefront of the fight for equality within trade unions, at the workplace and within society for many years. Women make up 50 per cent of our members. We have had structural arrangements for women since 1980. Our equal rights structure also covers discrimination on the grounds of disability, age and sexual orientation and equality issues for men.

National and regional equality & inclusion forums advise on GMB equal rights policy and liaise with the Central Executive Committee. They advise on recruitment and participation within GMB at all levels of women and other groups which experience discrimination. The national equalities & inclusion officer acts as secretary to the national forum.

GMB remains one of the few unions to have reserved seats for women at both Central Executive Council and Regional Council levels. GMB sends full delegations to the TUC and Labour Party Women’s Conferences and the TUC Lesbian and Gay Conference. A reserved seat for Lesbian and Gay workers on the TUC General Council was set up in 2001.


We aim to put equal rights, and in particular equal pay and developments on the family friendly agenda, at the top of the negotiating agenda and continue our groundbreaking campaign on domestic violence as a work place issue. Courses for representatives on equal pay and the work of the Equal Pay Task Force are arranged by GMB and the TUC.

GMB produces negotiators guides on a wide range of equality issues. These include negotiating equal opportunities agreements, tackling harassment, equality audits, flexible working and the Family Charter. Regular equality briefings are posted on the GMB website and are available from your equality officer.


We want GMB to be recognised as the lead trade union in driving equality at work and in our society, while reflecting the make up of our members and potential members at all levels of GMB and unleashing their potential.