TUC Midlands Women in Leadership 2021 course


This very successful course will be running again in 2021. This course is for women trade union reps who want to develop their leadership positions within the union movement or build their CV skills to advance into leadership roles within their organisation or community.

From public speaking and leadership styles to communication skills and research projects looking at equality in the workplace, this course will involve six days of learning, as well as project work in between classes.

The course will help you understand:

What is leadership? Leadership skills Leadership styles Public speaking Organising skills Media skills (including social media)

The course will run over 6 consecutive Wednesdays from 5 May, as in previous years, will culminate with the TUC Women Chainmakers’ Festival on Saturday July 3rd.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the course will begin online. FIND OUT MORE / REGISTER




 Mary Macarthur Lecture 13th March 2020 – Giving the 2020 lecture is author and historian Cathy Hunt, who will be giving the story of her latest published biography, Writing the Wrong, Mary Macarthur 1880 – 1921 The Working Woman’s Champion.  Cathy has uncovered previously unreported history of the remarkable Mary and her pivotal role in improving the lives of working women.  Cathy’s lecture will reflect on Mary’s legacy as well as the lessons we have learned and the relevance of Mary Macarthur’s message to today’s workers in 2020 and beyond.

This event has proven most popular since Frances O’Grady gave the inaugural lecture 5 years ago, and keeps in the spotlight the name of such an inspirational woman leader who shaped our movement within our region.


Monday 4 March – Sunday 10 March 2019

The TUC in the Midlands is delighted to announce its fifth annual Women at Work Week, a series of events celebrating the role women play in the trade union movement today, and the contribution made in building our past.

This years events include:

  • 4 March – TUC meeting with the Bank of England.
This meeting is an opportunity for women activists to meet with the Regional Agent of the Bank of England to discuss the impact of the economy on women workers. This event will take place from 11am until 1pm at the TUC Offices, 47 Summer Lane, Birmingham B19 3TH. To register to attend place contact Michelle Kesterton at mkesterton@tuc.org.uk
  • 5 March – Visit to House of Commons to meet with the Parliamentary Labour Party
The special meeting with the Midlands Labour Party Parliamentary Party is an opportunity for women workers to meet politicians and give them feedback on issues facing women workers today. The meeting is taking place in the House of Commons from 2pm. To book your place contact Michelle at mkesterton@tuc.org.uk
  • 7 March- Mary Macarthur Lecture – A Performance of the Townsend Theatre Productions, Rouse Ye Women. 
This year’s Mary Macarthur Lecture is a special performance of Rouse Ye Women the story of Mary Macarthur and the Women Chainmakers which is touring across the country. The event is being held at the Netherton Arts Centre and starts at 7.30pm. For ticket information go to https://lineupnow.com/event/rouse-ye-women-1 or call 0794935910 
  • 8 March – Calling Time on Women’s Wasted Potential, a tribute to Mary Alys. Confirmed speakers include Lilian Greenwood MP, Kate Hudson CWU and Hannah Packam NEU.

An opportunity to hear from leading figures in the labour movement on their experiences and how they got them, along with ideas about removing the barriers for women within the labour movement. This event will have refreshments and is free. It will from 6.30pm until 8.30pm with networking opportunities after. The venue will be the Nottingham Mechanics Institute. To register for this event please contact Michelle at mkesterton@tuc.org.uk

We are delighted to host the women at work week and we are the only TUC region in the country that does so – be part of it!!!




The TUC in the Midlands is delighted to announce its 4th annual Women at Work Week, designed to highlight women workers in the week of International Women’s Day. A number of initiatives have been organised which affiliates, trades councils and the wider labour movement can attend and participate in. The events are;

  • 5th March – Social Media Masterclass – focusing on women and the use of social media this event looks at the way social media is leading in influencing and informing opinion. Being held at the GMB Offices, Woodborough Road, Nottingham, this event is free but spaces are limited. To book go tohttps://tinyurl.com/y77xyyat


  • 6th March – TUC Women’s Delegation to meet Midlands Parliamentary Labour Party – this event is being held in the House of Commons and will give a women’s delegation an opportunity to meet and discuss issues facing women with the Midlands Labour Parliamentary Party. Meeting at 2pm this event will be an opportunity to speak to the policy makers and shakers in the PLP, for further information contact Michelle mkesterton@tuc.org.uk


  • 8th March – Calling Time on Women’s Wasted Potential – celebrating the book written by former TUC employee Mary Alys who passed away within days of finishing her book this event looks at women and how they found their own way within the labour movement. Speakers at this event include Kate Hudson Regional Chair (designate) of Midlands TUC, Louise Regan NEU National President, Annmarie Kilcline Regional Secretary of Unite the Union in the East Midlands & Cheryl Pidgeon Labour PPC for Rushcliffe and others. The event is being held at the Waterfall, Railway Terrace, Derby DE1 2RU and a copy of Mary’s book will be given to those attending. This is a free event but spaces will be limited, to book please go to https://tinyurl.com/ycwn6te3


  • 9th March – the fourth Mary Macarthur Lecture – Jess Phillips MP – 7-10pm Quarry Bank Labour Club, 153 High Street, Quarry Bank DY5 2AF we are delighted that leading feminist Jess Phillips MP will be giving the 2018 Mary Macarthur Lecture. Having worked in Women’s Aid since 2010 supporting victims of sexual and domestic abuse in Sandwell, Jess was elected to Parliament in 2015. Described by J.K.Rowling as ‘a heroine’, Jess will deliver this year’s lecture. A buffet will be available to network after the lecture and a copy of last year’s lecture will be available to those attending.This is a free event but spaces will be limited, to book please go to https://tinyurl.com/ycuyymab



march17 lecture

Midlands TUC’s 2017 Mary Macarthur lecture on

Campaigning journalist Ros Wynne-Jones gave the lecture this year.

Ros writes the weekly ‘Real Britain’ column in the Daily Mirror each week, shining a light on the reality of poverty and austerity across the UK. The column is sponsored by Unite the Union and appears every Friday in the paper, Ros was the first national journalist to pick up the Midlands TUC’s Dying to Work campaign.

 – 13th March 2017– meeting with the Bank of England on the theme of Austerity and its disproportionate impact on women and how we need to rebalance the economy to better meet the needs of working women.

  • 16th March 2017 – celebrating the book Calling Time on Women’s Wasted Potential written by the late Mary Alys who worked at Midlands TUC. The event celebrates leading women figures within our movement and this year the line-up of speakers includes Helen Black, Unison East Midlands Regional Secretary, Sue Harris, Partner at Thompsons Solicitors and Kate Hudson, CWU Regional Secretary. Lorraine Mirham will also give a background to the book and how it can be used for the future. 




The TUC in the Midlands second Women at Work Week, designed to highlight women workers in the run up to International Women’s Day on 8th March.

 –          1st March 2016 – Celebrating Women’s Potential – A one day seminar being held at the Y Theatre in Leicester LE1 6EY with speeches, workshops and discussio, come and join the General Secretary of the TUC and leading Women trade union figures from across the Midlands. The event starts at 10.30am and concludes at 3.30pm. Those wishing to attend should register at mkesterton@tuc.org.uk

 –          3rd March – Meeting with the Regional Agent of the Bank of England – How Austerity Disproportionately Impacts on Women Workers –  Regional Secretaries and Senior Union Officers meeting with the Bank of England in the Midlands to present TUC research into the disproportionate impact austerity has on Women Workers

  4th March – The 2nd Mary Macarthur Lecture with Polly Toynbee – The 2nd Mary Macarthur lecture is taking place on Friday 4th March at 7pm at t

Frances O'Grady TUC General secretary

he Blackheath Coronation Club, George Avenue, Rowley Regis, B65 9BD, with writer and Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee. Chaired by the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons the Rt. Hon  Sylvia Heal and joined on the panel by the GMB’s Stephanie Peacock, this event is sure to fill up to capacity. Tickets are limited due to the venue so please book to attend at mkesterton@tuc.org.uk



The TUC in the Midlands first Women at Work Week designed to highlight women workers in the run up to International Women’s Day on 8th March.

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady warned at the inaugural Mary Macarthur lecture in Rowley Regis, that many women in the West Midlands are at risk of being left behind as they risk becoming trapped in in-work poverty.

6th March – Inaugural Mary Macarthur Lecture. Mary Macarthur


Frances told guests that a growing number of women in the region are being employed on poverty wages.

Frances said:

“Here in Rowley Regis over two-fifths of female workers earn less than the living the wage. Try telling them the recovery is fair, when they are struggling to make ends meet and pay the bills.

“Women are being employed on poverty pay across the West Midlands, as many find themselves trapped in insecure work.

“We need to rediscover the spirit of the Chainmakers if the rewards of growth are to be shared more fairly. In this new era of zero-hours contracts and casualisation, collective bargaining has never been more important. Without a better deal for women and stronger unions, millions of low-paid workers will continue to be left behind.”


This is the first of what we hope will become an annual Women at Work Week and affiliates are encouraged to actively take part.

3rd March – Meeting with the Regional Governor of the Bank of England with presentation on the impacts of austerity on women workers

5th March – Equality, Still on the Horizon one day workshop specifically for Women Trade Unionists in the Midlands. These workshops have been designed, developed and will be delivered by TUEd centres across the Region in Nottingham, Stoke-on-Trent, Leicester and Solihull

ALL TICKETS GONE – 6th March – Inaugural Mary Macarthur Lecture. Mary Macarthur, female trade unionist led the historic 10 week Chainmakers strike in 1910 which led to a minimum wage. Her achievements are celebrated every year at the Chainmakers Festival in Cradley Heath.  The Midlands TUC has now established an annual lecture to be given in her name and look at the challenges and opportunities facing women in the world of work today.  The inaugural lecture will be given by the TUC General Secretary, Frances O’Grady, and will be chaired by Ex-Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons the Rt. Hon. Syliva Heal 

7th March – The Midlands TUC Regional Women’s Committee will be out in Coventry from 2pm leafleting the public and supporting the Coventry Women’s Voice Reclaim the Night event that evening.

Frances O’Grady Morning Star Guest Editor Sat 7 March for special edition to celebrate International Women’s Day http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/britain


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