SO now the Government wants to give those discriminated against a bit a little head start by urging firms to choose women and ethnic minorities over others.

There are elements of the new Equality Bill which are welcome and a move in the right direction.

But that is not really how things are going to be perceived.

Okay, some people need all the help they can get, but a company should not be put in a position where it has to choose on colour or gender.

Is this really that necessary? Are we not simply asking people to choose faces and people over actual talent?

And what happens, even after all of that, if the company still finds itself in hot water for not being equal enough.

I remember going for a job interview with the equal opportunities employer that is British Airways.

I ticked all the boxes including the one where it said, 'British Pakistani'.

I can recollect thinking 'that's got to count for something'.

Unfortunately they didn't have a 'Man needs a job quick because he is penniless and is wearing his school uniform as a suit ' box. That one would have really helped me.

But I did notice the good-looking woman with a full figure and flowing hair sat next to me for the same job.

I was more talented than this woman but I think they realised early on she had something I did not.

She would make a better air stewardess than I would. And that was that.

Some might say it is all about levelling the playing field. I actually disagree.

I don't want the helping hand. In fact a little discrimination here and there gives you just the boost you need.

Okay, you had to work a little harder to get the job.

So what? It makes you a better person when you know you've got the job despite having a big beard, wearing long-white robes and knocking-off mid-afternoon for the odd prayer.

You must really be talented.

The point is as an employer you can't really and shouldn't have to put people into positions just so you can make-up targets.

This in-turn will breed a level of arrogance and laziness.

I can foresee a time when the white middle-aged fellas will be ticking as many boxes as possible just to stand a chance of getting the interview.

And what after all of that you still don't get the job. How demoralising is that?