It’s time to level up, RCM leader tells conference

on 06 October 2020 RCM Maternity Services Covid-19 RCM CEO Midwifery Midwives Student midwives MSWs - Maternity Support Workers Race matters Equality and Diversity Pay NHS Pay Review Body Pay and Agenda For Change

The Royal College of Midwives opened its annual conference today with a call for greater equity and equality for those working in – and supported by – maternity services.

Gill Walton, Chief Executive of the RCM, told delegates joining the conference virtually: “For too long, we have tinkered at the edges of tackling race issues. Now is the time for us to focus on race equality and equity: the future must look different. It is unacceptable that black and Asian midwives and maternity support workers are more likely to experience bullying at work and face disciplinary processes and are less likely to advance in their careers. It’s time to level up.”

Through its Race Matters campaign, launched earlier this year, the RCM is committed to do more and better to improve the experience of black, Asian and minority ethnic maternity staff.

Hundreds of delegates listened online as the RCM held its first annual conference virtually and as the CEO of their Trade Union promised racial equality was now the golden thread that ran through everything the RCM did and also reiterated the RCM’s commitment to improving the outcomes of black, Asian and ethnic minority pregnant women.

Gill also made clear it is time to level up on pay too. The RCM is stepping up its campaign to ensure all its members receive an early and substantial pay rise that is fully funded by the Government. In July, the RCM wrote to the Prime Minister and the Chancellor to get round the table and kickstart pay talks and they are applying the same pressure on politicians in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

 She told delegates:

“When COVID hit, each and every one of you stepped up to ensure the pregnant women in your care continued to receive the care and support they need – and you did all of it in spite of the lack of resources. The Government owes you more than applause on the doorstep – it owes you an early and substantial pay rise.

“We will submit evidence to the Pay Review Body in November, but we need each and every one of you to stand with us to continue to pressure the Government to fully fund the award. We cannot let them off the hook, we want them to deliver an early and significant pay rise because you deserve it.”




Notes to Editors


To contact the RCM media relations team, call 020 7312 3456 or email [email protected]

For the first time ever, the RCM’s Annual Conference will be taking place virtually, across four days 6-9 October 2020. More details available here:

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources