An NUJ Women's network was launched following the NUJ Delegate Meeting (DM) in 2018 as part of a major initiative to prioritise a union-wide campaign to support women affected by sexism, discrimination and harassment in the workplace and end discrimination in pay.
The union has been in the vanguard of defending members following the BBC's publication of a list of its highest earners, which revealed only a third of those paid more than £150,000 were women. The union lodged more than 180 equal pay cases on behalf of NUJ members, which have inspired many other cases and successful settlements at workplaces elsewhere in the industry.
DM agreed two linked plans of action, on sexism and on gender pay:
Stamp Out Sexism:
plan of action
- Provide a safe platform for women, including freelances, to report sexism and harassment and offer them support.
- Call out examples of sexist reporting in the media.
- Push for greater diversity in newsrooms and encourage policies to promote more women to senior editorial positions.
- Call on the Irish government to include sexual harassment as a protected disclosure under the Protect Disclosures Act 2014.
- Support initiatives such as the Stronger Voice for Women project and provide training in opportunities for women to develop confidence and assert their rights.
- Create a model code of conduct for paid and lay officials and officers.
- Support #MeToo and other campaigns which expose sexual abuse in the media.
Campaign for equal pay:
- pay surveys and secure greater transparency of reporting in organisations of all sizes, ensuring chapels can effectively hold companies to account.
- Provide reps with training, support and campaign resources to create best-practice models designed to combat discrimination in NUJ workplaces.
- Work to encourage women’s and equality reps on all chapel committees and secure NUJ representation on any company-initiated networks set up to address gender pay.
- Encourage reps to negotiate more transparent recruitment practices and encourage companies’ commitments to unconscious bias training.
- Negotiate improved family- friendly policies, job sharing, commitments to flexible working and practical measures to achieve work- life balance.
- Campaign to end forced freelancing which is an unwelcome outcome for many women returning from maternity leave.
- Tackle pernicious inequality, and work with the NUJ’s parliamentary group, the TUC and the ICTU to extend the provisions of the currently limited gender pay gap regulations.