Past eventMembersChatham House Forum

Chatham House Forum: Does Positive Discrimination Work?

9 May 2017 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

Chatham House, London


Professor Heather McGregor, Executive Dean, Edinburgh Business School; Founding Member; 30% Club; Mrs Moneypenny, FT (1999-2016)



With the majority of boardrooms still dominated by white men, what are the most effective policies that can be implemented to ensure equality and diversity while maintaining a meritocratic environment? To tackle the issue of under-representation in the workplace there are a variety of measures that have been undertaken: from fairly passive measures such as targeted advertising at under-represented demographics and removing gender indicators in applications to more direct methods such as quota setting and all-women shortlists.
Heather McGregor, founding member of the 30% Club for ensuring gender balance on boards, will argue that mandates, top down approaches and positive discrimination are ineffective and ineffectual methods of challenging inequality. She will argue that to make real headway and achieve more diversity in the boardroom, under-represented groups must be proactive and take responsibility for making their case and putting themselves forward for more senior roles to help establish a new status quo.

About Chatham House Fora

Primarily aimed at younger members but open to our entire membership, each Chatham House Forum considers a question around an important contemporary debate in international affairs.

An expert speaker will offer a polemic in response - providing their answer to this question and outlining the key arguments that have convinced them of their position. The audience then have the chance to query and challenge the speaker’s views in a Q&A session during the second half of the event.

Each event will be followed by a reception with the speaker, allowing attendees to continue the conversation.