The importance of affirmative action and its history

Blog Affirmative Action Affirmative Action began as a plan to equalize the educational, employment, and contracting opportunities for minorities and women with opportunities given to their white, male counterparts.

The importance of affirmative action and its history

To help rectify the historical inequalities suffered by women and minorities, President John F. Kennedy and President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order and Executive Orderwhich effectively mandate non-discriminatory policies in regards to race, religion, gender and country of origin.

Many companies now employ affirmative action policies as part of their business models, but the practice remains controversial, as it creates advantages and disadvantages.

The importance of affirmative action and its history

Diversity Affirmative action policies help to create a more diverse work environment. Diversity, in turn, provides businesses with two key advantages: First, they provide more adaptability in terms of problem solving by offering a wider array of possible solutions; and companies that embrace a multi-cultural employee roster are better positioned to serve multi-cultural communities, by overcoming language and cultural barriers.

Increased Opportunities By maintaining affirmative action hiring policies, a business can expand its opportunities to include government contracts. Johnson specifies that businesses receiving government contracts must establish and maintain affirmative action policies.

The availability of government contracts vary from administration to administration and federal budget to federal budget, but such contracts can prove a lucrative windfall for the businesses that win them.

Moral Commitment Embracing affirmative action can provide businesses with a means of making a moral commitment to the ideal of justice or equal treatment for all.

The advantage of such a moral stand within the workplace remains indirect.

Table of Contents

It can help to draw employees that share a belief in the principle of justice, which helps to foster a more tolerant work environment.

It can also reassure employees that come from historically underrepresented groups that the company will give them full consideration for any available promotions. Reverse Discrimination One major disadvantage of affirmative action in the workplace is the reality or perception of reverse discrimination.

In essence, those opposed to affirmative action programs claim that the programs penalize those from the historically dominant group -- generally white males -- even when they possess the appropriate qualifications for a given job.

While reverse discrimination remains exceedingly rare in practice, the accusation of reverse discrimination can generate a negative social backlash for a company, which may undermine its financial future.

The accusation can also potentially undercut the confidence of minority and women employees concerning their skill level. Stigmatization Affirmative action policies can potentially create a stigma that minorities and women obtain positions in a company based on gender, race or ethnicity, rather than through achievement and qualifications.

In the workplace, this stigma can translate into questioning the competence of minority and women employees to do their jobs.

The stigmatization may also lead minority and women employees to question why an employer chose to hire them.Affirmative action is a complicated and distortionary social policy but its message and presence is too important for it to be discarded, as .

The importance of affirmative action and its history

Jun 29,  · Affirmative action policies can potentially create a stigma that minorities and women obtain positions in a company based on gender, race or ethnicity, rather than through achievement and. The focus of this paper is on the history of affirmative action and its relevance to our society.

Affirmative action focuses on the importance of equality and equal opportunity among all people in terms of education and employment. In , President Kennedy was the first to use the term "affirmative action" in an Executive Order that directed government contractors to take "affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard .

Affirmative Action Overview

Affirmative action, also known as reservation in India and Nepal, positive action in the UK, and employment equity (in a narrower context) in Canada and South Africa, is the policy of promoting the education and employment of members of groups that are known to have previously suffered from discrimination.

Historically and internationally, support for . In its year history, Affirmative Action has attempted to rid America of discrimination against minorities and women, sometimes at the cost of what has been labeled “reverse discrimination" towards white men.

Why Affirmative Action Is So Important