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WiN – Women in the NUJ

NUJ women make up more than 40 per cent of the union's total membership, but they are still under-represented in union affairs. We want more women to get active in the NUJ and take part in our campaigns against discrimination at work and in wider society.

The NUJ has expertise, information and support to offer its members. The union can help take action against sexism, discrimination and harassment.

The union campaigns against sexism in the media industry and can help enforce existing employment rights on flexible working, equal pay, childcare and maternity.

The union can also give advice on safety and offer training.

Every year the union celebrates the life and work of pioneering radical journalist and NUJ member, Claudia Jones, with a memorial lecture in her honour.

A survey by the International Federation of Journalists (PDF) in 2012 shows women make up more than a third of journalists and their unions' leaders.

Read the tributes to a women who first lead the NUJ - Rosaline Kelly.

International Women's Day

International Women's Day (IWD) has been an important date in the NUJ's calendar of celebrations for many years now. That's as it should be, because our union has a proud tradition of women journalists who advanced the rights and careers of colleagues, particularly in an environment which was often decidedly hostile to the very notion of women having real careers.

The NUJ can be proud that it was an early adopter of the then radical belief that women and men deserved the same pay and conditions for doing the same work. Thanks to the insistence of women journalists in London, the newspaper publishers agreed in principle to equal pay in 1918.

However, as women in the NUJ know only too well, while equal pay in journalism has been taken for granted for most of the past century, real equality requires a lot more than this. Opportunities for training and career advancement, fair policies which respect the needs of family and personal life and other issues still need tackling and all chapels and members must be ever-vigilant if we are to close the gender pay gap evident in our industry.

Help celebrate International Women's Day each March and organise your own branch or chapel activities and events. View listings for international women's day.

Challenges:

  • Very few media outlets, apart from the UK public broadcasters (BBC and ITV), monitor diversity in their workplaces. Managements should introduce schemes to examine potential discriminatory patterns in relation to gender, age, ethnicity, sexuality and disability status in terms of jobs, pay and status.
  • The NUJ is particularly concerned about the effect of bullying combined with sexism and harassment in the media. The Leveson inquiry evidence and the BBC's Respect at Work (Dinah Rose) review illustrate some of our concerns. The union is working with the Federation of Entertainment Unions on a joint campaign called Creating without Conflict.
  • Women tend to be stereotyped in the media and reporters, academics and non-governmental organisations have highlighted the problems.
  • Rape and violence against women: the union has published guidance for members reporting these crimes.
  • The NUJ believes that sexist presentation of women in the media encourages objectification of women by some sectors of society.

Information, policy and guidance:

Read NUJ policy statements on gender equality

NUJ guide to online safety and harassment

Sexual harassment - a guide for members

Sexual harassment - a guide for union representatives

NUJ workplace policy on domestic violence

NUJ guidance on safety for women journalists

NUJ guidelines for journalists on violence against women

Maternity and parental leave information

NUJ members going on maternity leave need to contact the union's membership department to alter their NUJ subscription payments. Members on maternity leave can get their subs put on hold for the period of their ordinary maternity leave, resuming at the end of that period. If members take additional leave, they just need to contact the union at that time to let them know. Email the membership department: membership@nuj.org.uk

The NUJ is pleased to support Maternity Action which is the UK's leading charity committed to ending inequality and improving the health and well-being of pregnant women, partners and young children – from conception through to the child's early years.

Maternity Action's website contains up-to-date information on rights at work when you are pregnant including leave and pay entitlements, discrimination and redundancy during pregnancy and maternity leave, sharing leave with a father or partner and child friendly working hours. It also gives information on health and safety and breastfeeding.

ACAS guidance on Managing redundancy for pregnant employees and those on maternity leave

TUC reps guidance on supporting working women through the menopause