This paper reflects on the problem of gender balance in economic decision-making, considers its legislative roots, and offers potential guidance for its solution. The paper takes into account the origin of positive action and effective equality in the scope of EU legislation and CJEU case law and tackles the most troublesome issues regarding the new initiative of making equality in boards effective. It analyses gender equality in three approaches of positive action. Firstly, the fragile approach at the EU level, despite the rich historical impact it has had. Secondly, positive action on CJEU terrain where standards of equality have been set by useful case law. Finally, the form of legislative positive action which aimed to break the glass ceiling in corporate boards – the ‘Women on Boards Directive’. With such an approach, the paper offers the authors’ view on the stability of positive action and an interpretation of the above-mentioned directive.