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Women get more active in Community

2nd December 2019

“We want women to have a voice in their workplace and their union…”

Women members of Community in Scotland recently came together for the first ‘Women in our union’ event – a small informal get-together aimed at encouraging more women members to become more active in the union.

The evening event was organised by Margaret Wotherspoon, Regional Organiser and member of the STUC’s women’s committee. It took place at Community’s Glasgow Office in October.

Margaret said: “The aim was to set up a network of women from all different sectors, have them as points of contact within their workplace, and encourage them to step forward, and have a voice not just in their workplace, but also in their union.”

The event gave the women the chance to chat in a safe space about various topics including menopause, family friendly working or the time involved in carrying out union duties.

One of the participants, Sharon McGrath from CityBuilding, said: “I attended this event along with another HR colleague to engage with women in Community…The event was well-timed after work to allow the women to attend.

“The format was informal to encourage the women, the majority of whom were young women, to participate in an open and frank manner… The evening was excellent and I would be happy to attend again.

“The issues discussed instilled confidence in the attendees that these are not isolated to their workplace and offered practical assistance in how to approach matters in the workplace.”

Margaret Wotherspoon “immediately put everyone at ease” and she was assisted by Eileen Dinning, the winner of this year’s STUC Women’s Conference Meritorious Award. Eileen’s contribution was on a range of women-specific issues from a trade union perspective.

Photo of Eileen Dinning

Eileen Dinning, speaking at the STUC, who led one of the discussions at Community’s event.

One participant said the topics discussed “generated good conversations” and “everyone there was involved even though there were differing job roles and sectors”.

Margaret said she “really enjoyed this event” and that she is looking forward to continuing to work with the group of women in the future “but also doing the same in the other part of our region, Northern Ireland.”

Lauren Crowley, Community’s Head of Equalities, said:

“It’s great to see the first ‘women in our union’ event was such a success. As a union we still have some work to do to see more women represented in greater numbers throughout Community. This is a positive step to greater participation for members and we look forward to seeing how this work develops”.

Community wants more members to get involved in the union’s equalities activity. There is a Facebook group to join or you can sign up to our equalities mailing list.

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