11th November 2011
Thesis: Affirmative Action has helped many women and minorities in entering the job market. Although there has been a lot of hue and cry regarding the benefits of the affirmative action and the suitability of candidates selected thorough affirmative action; research has shown that affirmative action is beneficial and the candidates of affirmative action perform as well as those who are selected through the normal process. I. An overview of affirmative action and the different viewpoints presented by different groups. II. Reasons for affirmative action by corporate
III. The History of Affirmative action and how it was started. IV. The benefits accrued due to affirmative action over the last 30 years since its inception and the performance of employees hired through affirmative action. V. Costs related with affirmative actions and the feasibility of the same during economic downturn. VI. Conclusion of the major points presented in the paper.
Affirmative Action has been the source of heated debate recently. People have argues a lot about the method of bringing equal opportunity in America. Some people have stated that no discrimination exists in America hence there is no need for affirmative action. Others acknowledge the presence of discrimination in various forms but argue that steps should be taken to wipe out this discrimination rather than giving favorable treatment to those who are discriminated against. Still others view affirmative action positively; however in these people are not in agreement over the means to implement it. Some people want only the pool of candidates for a job to be increased whereas other want preferential treatment to be given to minorities and women ; even arguing that reservations like the type seen in countries like India and South Africa should be enforced in America. But people have hardly argued over the most basic question –“what are the benefits of affirmative action of there are any?” Affirmative action had been started in America with the intention of negating the effects of discrimination which are regularly faced by women and minorities in the labor market. Although the discrimination has significantly reduced but research shows that certain classes of people continue to face many problems in the job market. Statistical analysis has shown that there is still a sizable sex and race wage gap. The number of men who reach the top echelons of corporate America is far greater than Women or American Africans who are able to reach the top. In addition to this there have been many court cases recently pointing to sex and race discrimination e.g. – the recently concluded $54million settlement of sex discrimination law suit against Morgan Stanley. (Winkler)Audit studies have concluded that equally qualified workers who apply for the same job, a white man is more likely to get an interview call when compared to women or minorities. Affirmative action started in America when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an executive order in 1965 which required federal contractors or subcontractors to take affirmative action in order to ensure that employees are treated equally without any discrimination with regard to their race, color, religion, sex or national origin. (Golbal Rights)Employers who were “underutilizing” women and minorities were asked to submit annual goals for the hiring of women and minorities. Many employers have adopted the policy of affirmative action after losing a legal battle; others have picked it up voluntarily. If we analyze the studies conducted over the last 30 years it has been proved that affirmative action programs have led to greater employment opportunities for minorities and women. Study conducted by Jonathan Leonard in 1989 has shown that employment rates for women increased drastically with firms who had federal contracts (as they were required to submit...
Bibliography: Golbal Rights. Affirmative Action : A Global Perspective. Review Report. New York: Global Rights, 2005.
R.Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. "From Affirmative action to Affirming Diversity." Harvard Business Review (March 1990): 107 - 117.
Reskin, Barbara F. The Realities of Affirmative Action in Employment. New York: American Sociological Association, 1998.
Winkler, Francine D.Blau and Anne E. Does Affirmative Action Work ? Regional Review. Cornell: Cornell University, 2005.
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