The idea that a woman isn’t given a job because she is a woman and not a man has long appalled people, and rightly so. As has the idea that rich people can get a specific place at a university or in a respected job field because of their wealth. These things aren’t just ideas, though, they are a reality.

So when it was flipped on its head in order to balance the scales, people began to question whether any form of discrimination can be justified. By being ‘flipped on its head’, I mean that, for example, women (who were just as good as men at their job) were given a promotion instead of the man, in order to make things equal. Or, similarly, there was a push to include BAME (British, Asian and minority ethnic) people in high judicial positions.

This was labelled as ‘positive discrimination’ because it was about time that people of all ages, races, sexuality, disabilities and genders saw themselves being reflected in all parts of society.

However, a considerable amount of people have started to argue against positive discrimination because they believe that all discrimination is wrong and that underrepresented groups can get to the top regardless. One example of this is all-women shortlists for councillors and MPs. In places where more men are councillors than women, the decision may be made to only have women on the shortlist, therefore preventing any subconscious sexism when voters come to make a decision.

At first, it sounds totally ludicrous. But when you think about it, it makes sense. Until all areas are equal in terms of representation, prejudices will always remain, whether subconsciously or very consciously. So positive discrimination is right, but only to an extent.

The thing about positive discrimination is that it is a temporary solution to a long-term problem. We can’t rely on all-women shortlists forever, or outreach schemes to help those classed as disadvantaged. What we need to do is level the playing field while using the method of positive discrimination. Only then will we have proper equality. So let’s do it.