GMB has been at the forefront of the fight for equality for many years.

For many years, GMB has been a leading advocate for equality in trade unions, workplaces, and society. With women comprising 50% of our membership, we have had structural arrangements in place for women since 1980. Our equal rights structure encompasses discrimination based on disability, age, sexual orientation, and equality issues affecting men.

Our national and regional equality and inclusion forums provide guidance on GMB equal rights policy and work closely with the Central Executive Committee. These forums advise on recruitment and participation of groups that experience discrimination, including women. The national equalities and inclusion officer serves as the secretary to the national forum.

GMB stands out as one of the few unions to have reserved seats for women at both Central Executive Council and Regional Council levels. We send full delegations to the TUC and Labour Party Women’s Conferences and the TUC Lesbian and Gay Conference. In 2001, we established a reserved seat for Lesbian and Gay workers on the TUC General Council.

Women make up 50 percent of our members.


We aim to put equal rights, and in particular equal pay and developments on the family friendly agenda, at the top of the negotiating agenda and continue our groundbreaking campaign on domestic violence as a work place issue. Courses for representatives on equal pay and the work of the Equal Pay Task Force are arranged by GMB and the TUC.

GMB produces negotiators guides on a wide range of equality issues. These include negotiating equal opportunities agreements, tackling harassment, equality audits, flexible working and the Family Charter. Regular equality briefings are posted on the GMB website and are available from your equality officer.


We want GMB to be recognised as the lead trade union in driving equality at work and in our society, while reflecting the make up of our members and potential members at all levels of GMB and unleashing their potential.