A study on positive action in the European Union, Canada, United States and South Africa

Women listening to music


by Uduak Archibong

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This is a summary of research report for the study on positive action in the European Union. The Centre for Inclusion and Diversity at the University of Bradford was commissioned to lead this fifteen-month project in collaboration with the European Roma Rights Centre and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights.  The main aim of the study was to examine the role of positive action in preventing or remedying discrimination by comparing the legal frameworks, policies and practices of positive action in Europe, Canada, United States and South Africa.
Special thanks are due to the European Commission for funding this study and to all the participating organisations, government offices, companies and individuals who took part in all aspects of the study. I am beholden to all PAMECUS consortium members who took part in the original report from which this synopsis is a derivative. What follows is, of course, my own responsibility.


There is widespread recognition that the problems of discrimination and inequality in employment and service provision will not disappear on their own and that appropriate strategies are required in order to nurture a workforce that comprises a variety of talents and reflects the diverse communities being served (Archibong, 2006; Archibong et. al., 2006; Dhami et. al., 2006). Barriers to recruiting people from diverse backgrounds into employment have been the subject of both theoretical and research literature (Darr and Archibong, 2004). Several authors have pointed out that there is frequently a gap between written policies and actual practices, particularly in health and educational provision (Baxter 1997, Ahmad 1993). In some instances, deficiencies in relation to equal opportunities policies within organisations have been cited (Bagilhole and Stephens, 1999), and a reluctance to implement them where they are in place (Carter, 2000).

Even though the intention of equal opportunities policies has been to address the problems of discrimination and inequity, there is still a need to change institutional practice, as women, disabled workers and other minority groups continue to face discriminatory barriers in the workplace, which prevent them from enjoying equal opportunity (Povall, 1990; Crompton and Le Feuvre, 2000). Clearly there remains a vibrant debate about the most appropriate way to tackle inequality and promote diversity at work and in the delivery of services (Edwards and McAllister, 2002; Bagshaw, 2004; Stratigaki, 2005; Bajawa and Woodhall, 2006; Young, Mountford and Skrla, 2006).

In recent years there has been a significant expansion of legislation by the European Commission (EC) in the area of equal treatment, making the EC the dominant force setting the tone and content of national non-discrimination and equality laws across the 27 Member States. The year 2000 saw the adoption of two Directives prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of race and ethnic origin (EC Directive 2000a), and sexual orientation, religion or belief, disability and age (EC Directive 2000b). These were followed by amendments to the long-standing Directive 76/207 on equal treatment for men and women, the adoption of a “goods and services” gender non-discrimination Directive in 2004 (EC Directive 2004) and, more recently, the adoption of the “Recast” gender Directive (EC Directive 2006)..In addition, specific work has been undertaken regarding positive action for Roma in the field of education by the European Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights).

Positive action, including the notion of positive duties to promote equality through, for example, contract compliance programmes, is one means of addressing the limitations and restrictions inherent in an individual enforcement model based on litigation. Nevertheless, while the use of positive action measures is recommended as a method of realising equality of opportunity, there is a dearth of empirical literature on the use of positive action within employment and service development across Europe. 

Summary of the Literature

Conceptualisations of positive action

The understanding of the term positive action and related terminology vary significantly across countries, sectors and equality grounds.  This situation is further compounded by the fact that terms such as positive action, reverse discrimination, positive discrimination, affirmative action and corrective action are used synonymously in myriad contexts (Adam 1997, Archibong et al. 2006a). Other terminologies utilised include ‘constructive action’ (Cunningham 1997), 'reasonable accommodation' (Irving & Kleiner 1999), 'structural initiatives' (Fielding 1999), 'diversification strategies' (Groschi & Doherty 1999), 'mainstreaming projects' (Kingsley 2001) and ‘balancing measures’ (McCrudden 2007). Whilst these terms may be considered to be related and borderline cases, Archibong et al (2006a) posit that the terms should, however, remain distinct from positive action itself. More broadly, Iles & Hayers (1997) use the overarching ‘diversity competence approach’ to describe effective international team working, whereas Miller & Rowney (1999) prefer to use ‘managing diversity’. 

Archibong et al. (2007) describe positive action as having three significant conceptual dimensions: the legislative; the executive or practice; and the political, which includes its communication or surrounding debate. They posit that while the statutory bodies explain the legislative concept, managers apply this concept through workforce diversity measures, but above all positive action is embedded within a larger political context.  Statutory equality bodies are charged with explaining the application of the legislative context, managers within organisations need to expand the concept of positive action into practical diversity measures, while communication of positive action through a variety of media may remain dependent on context and is often driven by the political agenda in question. The authors explain that these factors can impact on the nature of positive action and the initiatives that materialise in reality. In fact, there is clear evidence in the literature that misinterpretation of Positive Action does exist (Chater & Chater, 1992; Johns, 2005) and can often lead to lack of, or limited engagement with, positive action (Archibong et al. 2007).

Measurement of impact / success of positive action

The literature shows considerable differences in the types of initiatives implemented, as they are normally developed with local issues in mind (Iganski et al., 1998; Alexander, 2000). Consequently, this review did not find evidence of a discrete list of outcome criteria characterising ‘successful’ interventions. However, success is largely dependent on what the initiative sought to achieve (i.e. its aims and objectives) and this is not as coherent as one might suspect, but depends on the way positive action is modelled. As a result, there is a shortage of evaluative literature for positive action initiatives. Measures of success and evaluation of interventions were generally either omitted altogether from the literature, or were incomplete (Band and Parker, 2002), and ‘success’ was instead discussed elusively. Nevertheless, there is some indication of positive outcomes following positive action initiatives in the health and education sectors (e.g. NHS, 2005, Payne & Huffman, 2005, Baxter et al 2008). It is absolutely imperative that those either directly or indirectly affected by it have a clear understanding of its purpose, and that initiatives that are costly to implement can demonstrate clear utility and value for money.

Dhami et al. (2006) echo this observation, as they describe measurement of the effectiveness of affirmative action policies in the USA as a difficult endeavour. They assert that most studies on this subject focus on the economic attainment of ethnic minority groups, but whilst some measure gross outcomes, others focus on labour force participation, and yet others on earnings. These factors all affect the evaluations made. Whilst Stephanopolous and Edley’s (1995) review of the effectiveness of affirmative action in the USA found that overall, the extent to which affirmative action had expanded minority employment in skilled positions was unclear, the programmes considered were effective, but could possibly be implemented in a fairer manner.  In other studies, Holzer and Neumark (2000) note clear evidence of better medical care to minorities and low-income people from affirmative action in medical schools. Holzer and Ihlanfeldt (1998) suggest that customers often like being served by co-ethnics, implying that minority customers might be happier (and white customers less happy) as a result of affirmative action.

Evaluation of the effectiveness of affirmative action statutory laws and policy instruments in the Netherlands has been seen largely as a ‘bureaucratic monstrosity’ (Glastra et al., 1998) due to the added burden it places on employers.  Despite the legal consequences (recourse to criminal law proceedings) most firms did not comply fully, primarily because employers saw the reality of minority (un)employment ‘as a supply-side rather than a demand-side problem’ (Dhami et al., 2006, p. 44).  As an alternative to any form of legal compliance, the government proposed a set of voluntary measures, including ‘diversity contracts’, establishing a Centre for Management of Diversity and extending voluntary ‘covenants’.  In light of these developments in the Netherlands, workshop participants confirmed that the term ‘enjoying currency’ is diversity management, while the literature uses affirmative action (e.g. Dhami et al., 2006; Vries & Pettigrew, 1994) and positive action (e.g. Bacchi, 2004) to describe similar activities in the Netherlands.

Recent studies have engaged in an empirical assessment of the Fair Employment Act in Northern Ireland and analysed the patterns of affirmative action agreements between the Fair Employment Commission and employers in Northern Ireland between 1990 and 2000 (Heaton and Teague, 1997; Osborne and Shuttleworth 2004; McCrudden et al., 2004). Heaton and Teague argued that the tension between a positive institutional context for affirmative action and negative ground level religious circumstances could be better managed in a climate of peace. More recently, Osborne and Shuttleworth (2004) considered the effects of the legislation ‘a generation on’ and highlighted the success of affirmative action measures in securing change, particularly in producing a substantial improvement in the employment profile of Catholics (Osborne and Shuttleworth, 2004), who are now well represented in senior level jobs.

Reports frequently state that initiatives have been ‘successful’ because they have led to increased minority group recruitment. In fact, most of the positive action literature focuses on the recruitment stage of the employment cycle (Secker, 2001; Refugee Council, 2006; Ward, 2006). Certainly there is some justification for this focus on reaching targets. For example Dainty, Neale and Bagilhole (1999) found that unlike men, women were unlikely to be advised by friends and family or same sex role models to join the construction industry. Thus, a physical increase in representation was important and this study found that women in the industry tended to have been targeted by recruitment campaigns or have read literature specifically aimed at attracting them. However, meeting targets or increasing numbers does not necessarily confirm ‘success’, but also about improving skills so that the candidates can get the jobs for which they apply (Shifrin, 2004). However, research into positive action in the aviation industry, (Davey and Davidson, 2000) found that whilst positive action led to increased female representation, women were also far more likely to leave the industry. Whilst women were successfully recruited through positive action, this could not necessarily be considered to be synonymous with success.

Agocs’ (2002) study in Canada argued that formalised employment equity (an alternative expression of positive action) programmes, with mandatory goal-setting and vigorous enforcement by government authorities, has a significant impact on results.  The study admonished organisations to adopt ‘mandatory equality policy rather than voluntary for employers…’ (Agocs, 2002: 22). Other studies have reported improved beliefs and attitudes amongst those who have taken part (Brew and Garavan, 1995; Band and Parker, 2002). The University of Warwick (Band and Parker, 2002) carried out some research to evaluate its ethnic minority undergraduate mentoring scheme. Successful outcomes included satisfaction among those being mentored that the scheme had met their expectations, especially in terms of career development, self-confidence and study skills. They also measured success in terms of the enthusiasm and commitment of mentors and their satisfaction with the level of benefit provided to their students and discussed the benefits in terms of building relationships between organisations and the wider community (especially the police force). However, all of the measures were subjective and dependent on self-ratings. None of the outcomes were correlated with ratings by third parties, or other objective criteria such as the increased likelihood of getting an interview, job offers or promotion. Several initiatives have reported that participants ‘enjoyed’ the initiative (e.g. Brew and Garavan, 1995; Band and Parker, 2002), and this has been interpreted as ‘success’. Nevertheless, evidence suggests that self ratings are not always reliable and valid measures of success (David and Sutton 2004). Similarly, just because the individual’s attitudes have changed, they do not necessarily behave any differently.

All of the ‘success’ factors discussed have been associated with changes in the individuals themselves. However, several authors have noted that individuals do not operate within a vacuum at work, but within the broader context of an organisation in which factors such as perceptions of fairness, threat, and utility can individually or collectively impact on the success of positive action programmes (e.g. Brew and Garavan, 1995;  Kottke and Agars, 2005). Anderson (2004) referring to a case study, has claimed that positive action training can help raise awareness and understanding of organisational attitudes but strongly implies such initiatives will have a limited impact unless they are implemented as part of a wider portfolio of measures designed to induce change at an organisational level. This literature review, however, did not find any study that had evaluated the effect of positive action on culture that was based on evidence and measurement. Furthermore, we found little evidence of longitudinal research into the success of positive action interventions. Typically where an intervention was reviewed it was evaluated in the immediate to mid-term (e.g. Barnes et al, 1998; Arksey, 2003; Anderson, 2004). Nevertheless, it did find encouragement in one study by Payne and Huffman (2005) which found that mentoring of USA army officers was positively related to affective commitment and negatively related to turnover behaviour. It also provided longitudinal evidence, as affective commitment partially mediated the relationship between mentoring and actual turnover behaviour ten years later.

The Present Study

The research sought to help the European Commission develop a framework for better understanding the role of positive action measures in preventing or remedying discrimination, building on the knowledge of the existing legal framework set out in other studies. It also sought to help the Commission gain a better insight into the kind of practical positive action measures already being taken in the European Union (and in the EFTA-EEA countries), as well as the possible costs and benefits of the positive action measures. The study also examined how legal frameworks, policies and practices of positive action in the European Union compare with Canada, United States and South Africa. 

The study involved those responsible for designing and implementing positive action measures.  These include Human Resources personnel, Equality and Diversity Leads, Cohesion and Service Development Managers, Chief Executives and other Senior Managers with responsibility for equality.  Specific objectives included exploring the:

  • historical, social and political context within which positive action measures have been developed across both employment and service provision.
  • perceptions, understanding and the rationale for developing and implementing strategies for positive action, covering the equality grounds of age, disability, race, religion and belief and sexual orientation. Aspects of gender which intersect with other grounds were also considered. 
  • outcomes and impact of positive action measures in participating organisations.
  • perceived effectiveness of the actions undertaken and how this could be improved.


A mixed methodology using both qualitative and quantitative methods was employed, in order to measure the success of these measures from the viewpoint of different stakeholders responsible for designing positive action measures. For example, workshop participants consisted of chief executives, diversity officers, human resource managers and service development workers. Combining both methodologies allowed us to triangulate the study, thereby providing us with a more complete picture of the situation in different countries and ensuring greater validity of the study findings (Tashakkori and Teddlie, 1998). The research was carried out in three distinct phases: a literature review and development of working definition of positive action; on-line survey in 27 European member states; the EFTA-EEA countries and in third countries and 3 non-EC countries participating in the study and comparative in-depth study. 

Literature review and development of the working definition of positive action

An initial in depth literature review was conducted in order to explore the wider theoretical and practice debates in relation to positive action. The findings of this review helped identify key themes and informed the development of a definition of positive action that was used in subsequent phases of the study. This was necessary given the confusion and inconsistency surrounding the use of the term ‘positive action’ and its perceived synonymity with terms such as ‘affirmative action’, ‘reverse discrimination’ and ‘positive discrimination’ (Archibong et al., 2006; Groschi and Doherty, 1999; Adam, 1997).

On-line survey

An online questionnaire was undertaken in order to provide an overview of the nature and extent of positive action activities taking place both at a country level and Europe wide. The survey was made accessible within the 27 European member states, two European Fair Trade Association countries (Iceland and Norway) and three non-EU countries (United States, Canada and South Africa) participating in the study. Using a Likert scale to record responses, the survey elicited information from organisations about their implementation of equality and diversity policies, their understanding and perceptions of positive action and their use of positive action measures, including outcome measures. It also asked organisations to identify possible barriers to positive action and any future plans to conduct positive action. Respondents were provided with the option of completing the questionnaire in English, French or German initially. The questionnaire was first sent to native speakers of the translated version to ensure that its content was translated appropriately for national contexts and to ensure that the original meaning of questions was maintained (Atkin and Chattoo, 2006). The need to achieve conceptual equivalence was considered to be particularly vital given the potential for misunderstanding and misinterpretation of terms such as ‘positive action’, ‘targeted recruitment’ and ‘championing schemes’ in countries where English was not the native language (Herdman et al., 1998). Once amendments were made to the few translation errors identified, the questionnaire was further piloted on six people in the UK, in order to identify any other difficulties with the content and context of the tool. Feedback from these participants resulted in minor modifications being made to the questionnaire.

Comparative study on positive action

A comparative case study approach was adopted, exploring practical applications of positive action measures in selected non-European (South Africa, Canada and the United States) and European Union countries (Austria, France, Hungary, Ireland, the Netherlands, Slovakia, Sweden and the UK). The non-European countries were selected because of their history regarding anti-discrimination laws and affirmative action measures. For Canada and the United States, the measures are well established, but in South Africa the measures and legal framework were more recent. The European countries were selected on the basis of geographical importance - covering different regions in Europe, size and experience of positive action measures on the different grounds of equality. In addition, we also considered the need to work with countries represented by members of the project team to ensure ease of access to the required participating organisations.

The comparative case study data were collected by means of participatory methods, including: a consensus workshop which encouraged maximum participation of all stakeholders (Spencer 1989; Stanfield 2002), interviews conducted with key actors in order to generate more feedback and guide ongoing research; and the analysis of policy documents of participating organisations. Consensus workshops were undertaken in nine of the eleven case study countries. It was not possible to conduct workshops in France and Sweden for logistical and political reasons, respectively. In France, conflicting interpretations of positive action held by different stakeholders made it difficult to organise a workshop, whilst in Sweden the changes in working arrangements with our contacts proved untenable.Excepting France and Sweden, half-day consensus workshops were held in each country. During each workshop, two discussion groups were held with representatives from all stakeholders including employers covering private, public and third sector organisations, campaigning bodies representing disadvantaged groups, employer associations and trades unions. A total of 272 people took part in 18 heterogeneous small group discussions.  Themes elicited from workshops were further validated by conducting targeted follow-on face-to-face or telephone interviews with 141 individuals identified from consensus workshops who were willing to discuss their views in more detail. The interviews lasted approximately 30 to 60 minutes and were semi-structured in nature.


The legal context of positive action

The literature review involved a detailed analysis of organisational policies / legal frameworks underpinning positive action measures in each of the eleven countries. Based on this literature review, the legal team produced a working definition of positive action. Evidence from previous studies (e.g. Archibong et al., 2006) show confusion and mixed interpretations of positive action.  Whilst organisations are permitted by law under certain circumstances to take positive action measures, no legal definition exists of the concept. The understanding of the term positive action and related terminology vary significantly across countries, sectors and equality grounds.  This situation is further compounded by the fact that terms such as positive action, reverse discrimination, positive discrimination, affirmative action and corrective action are used synonymously in a myriad of contexts (Adam 1997, Archibong et al. 2006). It was therefore crucial to identify a detailed definition of positive action for the purposes of this project. This definition was based on the prevailing position in EC law. In summary, it provided that:

‘positive action consists of proportionate measures undertaken with the purpose of achieving full and effective equality in practice for members of groups that are socially or economically disadvantaged, or otherwise face the consequences of past or present discrimination or disadvantage. In order to achieve this, positive action measures are designed to achieve one or more of the following goals:

  • preventing or compensating for disadvantages and discrimination, whether these arose in the past or are still ongoing;
  • promoting substantive equality by taking into account the specific situation of members of disadvantaged groups and breaking the cycle of disadvantage associated with membership of a particular group;
  • redressing under-representation and promoting diversity in participation of all groups in social, economic, cultural and political life.’

The legal definition was positively received by a wide range of professionals with experience in the field of diversity. This is confirmed by the results of the on-line survey of 635 respondents drawn from 32 countries. The survey was directed at individuals who are responsible for designing and implementing positive action measures, e.g. human resources personnel equality and diversity leads. 81% of respondents felt that the definition was broad enough to cover their organisation’s activities. The approval was strongest amongst the following groups: Chief Executive/Managing Directors (87%) and voluntary sector/NGOs at 86%. No other group by country or any other descriptor was significantly below the overall response level. When asked if the definition would be easy to apply in their organisation, 66% of the respondents said that it would.  The most positive sector was the voluntary/NGO at 77%, in particular those organisations in education and training, with a response of 86%. Conversely, public sector respondents had a significantly lower rate of agreement that the definition would be easy to apply within their organisation at 48%, with college/University Education sub category the lowest at 45%. This was rather surprising considering that public sector organisations are more likely to be driven by legislative requirements and would therefore be expected to feel more comfortable with the legal definition of positive action used in the study. 


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Research on positive action

Research should be undertaken in an attempt to map the current situation of "disadvantage" with regard to the different fields in which positive action can be applied, e.g. employment, education, housing, health care, etc. relating to these different grounds. This research should be carried out at the national level, as it can also be expected that the situation with regard to different equality grounds or grounds will also vary across the Member States. These national mapping studies should provide the basis for any further policy review focusing on where (which fields and grounds) to allow positive action, and what (public) resources to direct towards particular forms of positive action.

  • There needs to be research to assist courts which are called upon to establish whether a prior situation of disadvantage justifies the use of a particular positive action measure. The research should assist courts to identify the relevant questions or issues which should be resolved, and could result in a series of model questions (which could be adapted on a case by case basis) which the court would need to address.  This research should be carried out on a European basis. The model questions could then provide a basic EC law framework for assessing "disadvantage", but could also be added to in light of further national law requirements. An approach analogous to ‘cost-benefit analysis’ based on some measure of justice might be developed.
  • Given that an organisation’s equality and diversity objectives can be hampered by a lack of understanding of the rationale for positive action (and the need to continue to make the case for and measure the impact of positive action), undertaking research around the economic advantages of positive action may prove beneficial.  
  • A comprehensive intervention study is necessary to develop a coherent model/theory for measuring success which would guide the type of positive action measures implemented. 
  • In fact, there is so little evaluation of ‘good practice’ in positive action, that development of a model for identification, evaluation and dissemination of ‘best practice’ would be advantageous. 
  • In light of the centrality of monitoring in promoting sustained positive action measures, organisations need to gather disaggregated data in key sectoral fields on all grounds of discrimination.  This may not appear to be a radical or innovative suggestion, but in the light of the poverty of practice, we feel that while listed last in this catalogue of actions, it is of primary importance and would for the majority of organisations and agencies, be innovative in practice.

Law and policy development

  • In order to foster a shared understanding of what is meant by positive action within the European Union, the European Commission should promote dialogue with civil society organisations and the social partners.
  • Based on such dialogue, EU-level guidance on the meaning of positive action should be developed. This could be in the form of a non-binding legislative instrument, such as a Commission Recommendation or a Council Resolution. Alternative mechanisms could include a Joint Declaration by the social partners.
  • In the introduction and revision of EC anti-discrimination legislation, it should be ensured that public, private or voluntary organisations who wish to engage in positive action are entitled to do so.
  • Member States should revise national legislation where this prohibits or restricts the opportunity for public, private or voluntary organisations to take positive action.
  • In order to evaluate the need for, and effectiveness of, positive action, data collection is required. Whilst respecting data protection legislation, Member States should ensure that organisations may engage in data collection where this is designed to facilitate and analyse positive action measures. 
  • The EU institutions and Member States are recommended to introduce legal duties to implement positive action measures where necessary to achieve full equality in practice.


European and national levels

  • Create a European-level framework of understanding of positive action measures and define specific indicators of success in the implementation of these measures.  The EC needs best-practice networks to support member states in dealing with uncertainties and ensure parallel translation and application of the EU approach to positive action.  These networks should operate at national and cross-sector levels to enable the sharing of ideas, approaches and activities, and encourage organisations to move from intention to action. This may help to move the focus from rhetoric to outcomes.
  • Governments should undertake to educate the general public through ‘social marketing’ about positive action, in order to address widespread misunderstandings that appear to exist, and to facilitate the linking up of various stakeholders already engaged in such measures. Widespread awareness raising campaigns of both the need for positive action measures for disadvantaged groups and the benefits of such measures for wider society will promote a wider acceptance and positive attitudes towards positive action.
  • Develop clear strategies for identifying and managing the negative consequences of positive action (or its misuse and abuse). The role of the media and other robust communication approaches should be considered.  Establish educational forums and networks to promote understanding and dialogue in relation to positive action. 
  • Government bodies at all levels should actively be encouraged to implement positive action programmes for disadvantaged groups in order to set an example for the rest of society in overall attitude and approach to such measures. Minimum operating standards for positive action application should be set by the EC with appropriate arrangements for reporting successes and challenges on an EC-wide basis. This might be underpinned by selective punitive or enforcement action against bodies failing to meet existing minimum targets for compliance with equality and human rights duties.
  • Make available adequate financing through national government or EU funds to support complex programmes required to ensure effective implementation and evaluation of positive action.  Such programmes might include those that promote intersectional and intersectoral approaches to non-discrimination.
  • Develop tools to assist organizations to establish baseline data to facilitate positive action implementation and design robust strategies to support the evaluation of the effectiveness of measures taken.  Adoption of an EU and a national action plan that identifies systems that need to be in place to ensure efficient and robust monitoring. Impact assessment tools may be deployed for this purpose.

Organisational level

  • Positive action needs to be mainstreamed as part of a broader normative change and supported by institutions with proper mentoring and training.  Increase internal and external acceptability of positive action by raising awareness of the nature and benefits of positive action.  A programme of education and training including seminars and events to increase knowledge and practice of positive action, its benefits and its role within diversity strategies.
  • Address positive action as an integral part of a wider organisational corporate mission, workforce planning and service development, working closely with the relevant governmental bodies.  Integrate positive action within talent management, succession planning frameworks and wider employment and service development practices. This may require cross-departmental working in order to ensure a more co-ordinated approach.
  • Adopt a more coherent and collaborative approach to the introduction of positive action between organisations.  This collaboration will not only help to increase the acceptability of the programmes but may also help convince managers of the likely benefits of positive action, not least if other organisations are competitors. A strategy found effective in the USA is to encourage organizations to compete for recognition in equality and diversity (‘justice’) fields: if bodies are competing to excel in positive action, this creates healthy competition. Awards might be created and publicly presented to encourage this.
  • Ensure involvement of members of minority groups in the development and evaluation of positive action measures. Individuals who have benefited from various positive action initiatives should be encouraged to work within the extension of such programmes, in order to increase representation amongst positive action implementers.


Uduak Archibong PhD is Professor of Diversity at the University of Bradford, UK, where she directs the Centre for Inclusion and Diversity and provides strategic oversight for equality and diversity across the institution.

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