Based on research conducted during a large-scale European Commission project on international perspectives on positive/affirmative action measures, the authors provide a comparative analysis of the legal context and perceptions of the impact of positive action in the United Kingdom and the United States. The study adopted participatory methods including consensus workshops, interviews, and legal analysis to obtain data from those individuals responsible for designing and implementing positive action measures. Findings are discussed, conclusions drawn, and wide-ranging recommendations are made at governmental and organizational levels. The authors conclude by suggesting possible implications for policy and argue for widespread awareness-raising campaigns of both the need for positive action measures for disadvantaged groups and the benefits of such measures for wider society. They also recommend the adoption of a more coherent and collaborative approach to the utilization and evaluation of the effectiveness of positive or affirmative action.