Equality & Human Rights UK Law

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Equality & Human Rights UK Law

In practice, how can companies use general positive action measures in a lawful way?


Where the conditions for general positive action have been satisfied, it is lawful for companies to take a range of actions to encourage or enable women to be appointed to boards.

This can include:

  • reserving places for women on training courses in board leadership
  • targeting networking opportunities for women
  • providing mentoring and sponsor programmes, which assist in the development of female talent.
  • offering opportunities to women to shadow existing board members and/or observe board proceedings
  • placing advertisements where women are likely to read them and encouraging a pipeline of applicants, and
  • setting aspirational targets for increasing the number of women on boards within a particular timescale.


Download the UK Guidance (legal framework) on Appointments to Boards and Equality Law

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July 2014
557 KB PDF Document


Related publications:

  • Equality and Human Rights Commission Code of Practice on Employment, available here
  • Government Equalities Office positive action guidance, available here