Through diversifying the workforce, students’ unions will be able to attract and retain the best talent. This diversity of talent brings diverse ideas and perspectives, which will not only improve business delivery, but will enable students’ unions to meet the needs of students more effectively.

Research has shown that organisations with the highest representation of women on their top management teams delivered 35.1 per cent higher return on equity, and 34 per cent higher total return to shareholders than companies with the lowest representation (Opportunity Now Women and Work: The Facts, January 2008).

Positive action can be implemented in a number of ways such as encouraging applicants from particular groups to apply for a job, or helping people with particular protected characteristics to perform to the best of their ability (for example, by giving them training or support not available to other applicants). The other positive action step organisations can take is when there are two candidates who are as qualified as each other and the applicant from a group sharing a protected characteristic  can be appointed if it is felt this group to be disadvantaged or under-represented in the workforce or if their participation in an activity is disproportionately low.


Equality Act 2010: What do I need to know? A quick start guide to using positive action in recruitment and promotion

A guide by the Government’s Equalities Office.

Equality Act 2010: A quick start guide to positive action in service provision for voluntary and community organisations

A guide by the Government’s Equalities Office.

Positive action in recruitment

This Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance provides information on: what positive action is, when positive action can be used in recruitment and using positive action in a tie break situation in interviews.

Unconscious bias literature review and training

Resources from the ECU