DETERMINED: Gloria Mills CBE is a past president of the TUC
GLORIA MILLS CBE created history when she became the first black woman to be elected the 138th President of the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in September 2005.
In addition to serving as a past president of the TUC, Mills is currently a member of the TUC General Council Executive and is a member of Unison’s Senior Management Group, where she manages the strategic equality work and membership participation.
Mills is currently spearheading a number of campaigns on Women Against State Pensions Inequality, Challenging Racism in the Workplace and Beyond; a Better Deal for Women aged 50 and over in Employment among others.
She is also fighting the scourge of in-work poverty and the marginalisation of black workers in casual, insecure and temporary patterns of employment.
"I am inspired by people who stand up against indignity and injustice. People whose stance and strength of character shines through dark periods of injustice and inhumanity. For example, Rosa Parks and Nelson Mandela.
"My role models are people who create legacies in their lifetime for the benefit of humanity but, moreover, people who create sustainable and transformational change that lift others as they rise.
"Someone I admire is Oprah Winfrey who successfully demonstrated that you can create your own pathway and determine your destiny in life. Too many people cede power to others which leave them subjugated to victimhood.
"The best part of my job is winning improved rights for working people. I seek to inspire and motivate people that tomorrow can be better than today. Through collective actions and organising in a trade union or community they can improve their position and status in society. The challenges are formidable but they are not insurmountable.
"In my spare time I like reading. I also find time to follow sports which are my other passion. Football and cricket dominate my spare time and good fun for relaxing. However, I am not very good company when the Arsenal loses a game of football.
"I would tell my younger self to be circumspect about advice from people in positions of power who would offer advice tainted by their stereotypical perceptions and views of the attainment and potential of girls, young women and Black people.
"I have come to realise that the glass ceiling is set very low but there are also glass walls and that stereotypes abound to stop people achieving their potential.
"I am determined to ensure that employment, human rights and equality are prominent in the negotiations on the UK exiting the EU.
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