The Equalities and Human Right’s Commission has ruled that All Women Shortlists are illegal. To very little attention, the EHRC today published guidance on the equalities legislation around which appointments to boards must be made. It says very clearly on page 10:
“We do not believe that it is lawful to address under-representation by longlisting or shortlisting only female candidates to the detriment of male candidates”
Though the context was the private sector, it could not be clearer about the legality of the issue.
One rule for us, another for…
UPDATE: People who seem to know what they are talking about say there are special provisions for political parties (until 2030) which permit the use of all-women shortlists by registered political parties in relation to elections to government (see sections 104 and 105 of the Equality Act 2010).