Conventional equality measures have made a limited impact on women’s position in the workforce. This is not simply the result of measures being inadequately pursued. Instead, this paper argues, there is a more fundamental difficulty with the policy approach: that it focuses on women as having problems which need to be redressed rather than on changing organizations. As a result women are seen as inadequate and men become resentful of the ‘special treatment’ that follows. Changing these perceptions requires cultural change which cannot be achieved via conventional personnel-based equality initiatives. Many organizations are looking for new ways to present and pursue equality programmes such as a stress on providing a ‘business case’ or through a consideration of the value of workforce diversity. The paper assesses the ability of these initiatives to change the culture for equality. It argues that many organizations are merely pursuing a defensive approach which centres on language change and modified initiatives rather than new approaches to winning consent. In contrast it argues that culture change will only be achieved through a more pro-active approach. Various initiatives such as skills audits and training for men are discussed which indicate what can be done in practice.