The emergence of web 2.0 technologies led to optimistic predictions that social media (SM) might alter traditional gendered patterns of member participation in trade unions. Greene, Hogan, and Grieco and others suggested that the forms of communication and engagement these technologies offered to unions and their members had the potential to foster gender inclusion and contribute to union diversity, arguably central to effective representation. This article reports on a survey of union members’ experiences with and perceptions of their union's SM services, to identify whether there is a gendered dimension to members’ use. The findings indicate that for most union members regardless of gender, more traditional communication channels such as face‐to‐face contact and email remain the preferred means of communication. However, the findings also show that women are just as likely as men, if not more so, to engage with union SM. Given that historically, women largely participated less in union activities than their male counterparts, this broad parity of use by women supports the conclusion that SM has substantial potential to improve women's participation in unions.
- social media
- social networking sites