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Equality Bill

Part of the debate – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:31 am on 9th June 2009.

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Dianah Worman: We welcome this new tool in the kitbag for progressing diversity, but we do not see it being used very often. It could be used successfully only  by sophisticated organisations that can evidence why they are using this particular technique. It is more likely to be useful in situations in which you are recruiting a number of people, such as fast-track graduates, and you want people with certain kinds of talents and to develop certain opportunities. You might want to show that you need to choose more women than men or a greater proportion of people from minority ethnic groups to work towards a balanced work force. You would have to ensure that you evidenced why you were doing that. For example, you might have wanted to address an existing imbalance in your work force.

You would have to be sophisticated to use this technique successfully so that there is no backlash. There is a great deal of confusion about what positive action is. People only want to be appointed because they have merit in the first place. That has to stack up, but we need it in the kitbag.