Community’s Equalities Conference 2023
‘Working together’ was the key message at our first Equalities Conference since before the pandemic, and we were delighted that we were able to deliver our conference both online and in person, allowing us to be more inclusive and reach many more members.
Equality is a vast topic, and often very difficult to navigate, so to effect real positive changes in our workplaces, we simply cannot do this alone. It takes everyone working together to make this happen, and this year every person attending our conference has played their part in progressing fairer workplaces.
We were delighted to welcome members, Reps and activists from across the country – all vital to our fight for an equal world of work – as well as our key speakers who each focused on key aspects of equality and diversity.
General Secretary Roy Rickhuss spoke on the importance of equality within the trade union movement, and how there is still work to be done to ensure our movement is delivering real change for all people.
Stamping out racism is “work for everyone” and we must work to “bring together grass roots organisations and trade unions to move forward” was the message from the TUC’s Rizwan Hussain who spoke about the importance of his anti-racism task force in stamping out race discrimination across the UK.
Community’s Head of Education & Training, Tiffany Gillies, championed the importance of equality and diversity training, ensuring that all our Reps understand its importance and can champion and support all our members in the workplace.
In my own speech, I told delegates that Equalities Reps play a vital role supporting under-represented people in workplaces across the UK:
“Equalities Reps are the backbone of the work we do in creating positive change across our union.”
Kate Moran, from our partner organisation Maternity Action, spoke passionately about the tools and resources our members receive by working in alliance.
Katie Hinton, one of our own union lawyers, was really well received as she talked about how she handles cases on behalf of our members.
Our public interest speaker was Fizza Qureshi, the CEO of Migrant Rights Network. She spoke about modern day slavery and how this is impacting migrants who come to the UK legally with work visas but who often find themselves in difficult or unsafe situations because of unscrupulous sponsors, and can end up working for very little or for free.
Finally, Tallulah Bellassie-Page, from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, one of the sister organisations Community works with through the This is Not Working Alliance, gave a fantastic talk about harassment and violence, both inside and outside our workplaces.
Members and Reps
As the day drew to a close, we took the opportunity to talk to members and Reps, who all benefited from this opportunity to discuss and promote equality.
You can expect to see much more from Community on this in 2024.
I want to thank everyone who took a step in making their workplaces fairer, safer and more equitable this year. You make a huge difference to people’s lives.