Generally, it means giving preferential treatment to minorities in employment, businesses and admission to universities. It was also originally developed to correct years of discrimination and to give boosts to disadvantaged groups. With the diversity of our society today, it seems that the programs coming with the policy have been successful. However, many people already think that it is no longer necessary and that it would lead to problems more than it has solved.
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.
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.
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.The Pros of Affirmative Action.
Despite the success behind the affirmative action rules, racial discrimination remains in schools, and even in the workplace. Advantages of Affirmative Action.
Increasing Diversity A large part of the Affirmative Actions laws specify minority percentages for employment. This means that companies cannot discriminate a person or refuse to hire a person, solely based on their skin color or sexual orientation. The advantages and disadvantages of Affirmative Action show us that promoting diversity can be good, but it should not happen at the expense of others.
Equality is a goal we can all strive toward.
In some circumstances, a program like Affirmative Action could promote needed diversity. Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action Affirmative action is defined as policies that seek out, encourage, and sometimes give preferential treatment to employees in groups protected by Title VII.
(site text book) This is usually done through educational or economical benefits. Affirmative action leads to reverse discrimination. Affirmative action is designed to end discrimination and unfair treatment of employees/students based on color, but it in effect does the opposite.
Affirmative action pros and cons. Affirmative action policies have proven a good way to balance structuctural disparieties in many societies. Some of the most important pros: Affirmative action ensures representation of minorities and disadvantaged groups in positions of authority.