All-women shortlists for board appointments ruled unlawful

Kate McCann
Follow Kate
IT IS illegal for companies to use women-only shortlists to fill boardroom positions, according to new guidance from the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The report found that positive discrimination in order to appoint female candidates is unlawful under equality law, meaning businesses would no longer be able to draw up lists comprised solely of women to recruit new board members.

Business secretary Vince Cable welcomed the news yesterday, although the legal ban on all-women shortlists would be a blow to his bid to increase female representation at the top tier of UK businesses.

Oliver Parry from the Institute of Directors added: “No woman or man wants to be on a board of a company simply because of their gender.” Parry also called for more work on aspirational gender equality targets in companies, mentoring and wider advertising.