Positive action is a range of measures allowed under the Equality Act 2010 which can be lawfully taken to encourage and train people from under-represented groups to help them overcome disadvantages in competing with other applicants.
For example, the University often has a low rate of applications from women for academic and academic-related offices in certain subjects, such as science, engineering and technology. In order to improve this, initiatives, such as WiSETI or targeted actions may be undertaken.
Positive action must not be confused with positive discrimination which is unlawful, e.g. the setting of quotas (as opposed to targets, which are lawful) or any form of preferential treatment. Where positive action has been taken to encourage applicants from disadvantaged groups to apply, every applicant must be considered on individual merit and selection for interview and appointment must be based strictly on the agreed selection criteria.
The Equality Act 2010 does permit reasonable adjustments which may give preferential treatment to an individual with a disability.