LIFT Leadership Initiative: Females in Trade Unions

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The LIFT Project is designed to support Congress' initiatives which promote gender equality within the trade union movement and ensure that such initiatives are integrated into the wider trade union agenda.

Currently, a "pyramid of exclusion" prevails for women within the trade union movement - which means that the higher you go in the trade union decision-making hierarchy, the greater the deficit of women's participation and input.

  • Men still make up the majority of national elected officers in unions - even when the unions are predominantly female - with 100% of trade union General Secretaries being male
  • While women comprise up to 45% of union membership, they are grossly under-represented at decision-making levels in all unions - with only 26% of elected officers being female
  • Although women make up 60% of union staff, they are concentrated in specific areas - with 98% of administrative staff being female, but only 25% of union officials being women

The LIFT Project aims to address this deficit and ensure that the equality agenda is translated into greater 'voice' and representation for women within the movement.

To get further information about the project, or to register on the LIFT network, visit the project website.