Positive action can be used to develop people from underrepresented or disadvantaged groups to gain skills which will enable them to better compete with others, and help widen the talent pool.
Positive action is permitted by law where an organisation has evidence – ideally gained from diversity monitoring but not necessarily sophisticated statistical data or research – that people from particular groups are under-represented in the workforce. It can be used in both recruitment and training and development.
It can include:
- Reserving places for a protected group on training courses.
- Targeting them for networking opportunities.
- Providing mentoring and sponsor programmes.
- Paying for attendance at industry events.
- Setting up an internship scheme.
- Targeted advertising at particular groups.
Positive action is lawful under the Equality Act, however you need to understand limitations on how it can be used. Useful information can be found in the Equality and Human Rights publication, Thinking Outside The Box.