affirmative action pros and cons

04/22/2012 01:28

For many, many years, there was an unwritten system of discrimination in the American workplace, in which women and minorities were kept out of prestigious and well-paying jobs, forced to stay home or work menial jobs. Thanks in part to the civil rights movement of the 1960s, great strides have been made to integrating businesses and making sure all people have the same job opportunities and advantages. One of the pillars to the equality of the American workplace is affirmative action, which provides protection for minorities seeking employment.Affirmative action is a term that describes the US policies which promote diversity in the workplace. Laws have been put into effect with the goal of both providing society with the advantages of diversity, and to make amends for the past wrongs of preventing women and minorities from taking any job for which they were qualified. The laws are on the books in order to represent the American ideals of equality and diversity in service of social justice.The proponents of corporate diversity point to several major benefits of having a diverse work force, namely:

 Diversity provides a group of employees with a broad range of abilities and talents, and a wide variety of responses to problems and ways to work towards solutions.
 A more diverse workforce allows a company to provide a wider variety of goods or services which appeal to a larger audience.
 A diverse set of employees allows a business to do business with an equally diverse set of clients.
"Affirmative action" as a term was first voiced during the Kennedy administration in the early 1960s, specifically 1961's Executive order #10925, which required projects funded by the government to make sure that hiring was free of racial bias. The goal of a more diverse American society was picked up and expanded by the Johnson administration, which made a specific point of redressing the past wrongs of a segregated society.Over the years, many more employers have been required to meet quotas to reflect the diversity of American society, and to remove any potential racial bias on the part of the employer. The policy is not without its detractors, though. Some employers believe that affirmative action is unfair because it forces employers to hire certain employees, perhaps for what they feel are not for the right reasons. However, these employers may be breaking the law.    More at affirmative action pros and cons