DM2021: Equality (1)
One-day equality seminar. Menopause awareness campaign. Tougher legislation on sexual harassment. Recruitment of black photographers.
Women with problems during menopause will now have extra support from their union as an Equality Council motion calling for an awareness raising campaign and training for reps to support women at work, was passed by conference.
The motion highlighted a survey by the British Menopause Society which found almost half (45 per cent) of women felt their menopause symptoms had a negative impact on their work, but women were made to feel it was a private issue, leading to “employers dodging their responsibilities regarding the welfare of employees”.
Menopause symptoms include: feeling tired and lacking energy; hot flushes; feeling anxious and panic attacks; struggling to concentrate or focus; and headaches including migraines. Conference agreed to promote the ACAS and and TUC guidance and resources on the menopause.
A second Equality Council Late Notice Motion committed the NEC to campaign “alongside the TUC and other organisations for the British, Irish and EU governments to adopt binding legislation on sexual harassment in the workplace that covers harassment by clients or other people with which a worker is in contact in the course of carrying out their work". The motion noted a TUC survey which found the majority of LGBT+ workers had been subjected to sexual harassment at work as had NUJ women photographers while working as staffers and as freelance.
The union will hold a one-day equality seminar between DMs to update members on the training and equalities work of the union and “equip members with the knowledge and tools to identify and challenge discrimination where it occurs and to improve reporting upon a range of intersectional equalities and diversity issues”. It will also build up the reps’ equality network.
Following on from a successful 2019 NUJ Women in Photography event, the Photographers’ Council and BMC have been given the go-ahead to work with the British Photographic Council and relevant other photography bodies on a UK survey of photographers and videographers to gather information on the demographics of those working in the industry and to explore issues faced by under-represented groups and communities. The motion also called on the councils to encourage greater engagement of African, Caribbean and Asian photographers and videographers within the union.