What Is the Current Status of Minorities in Business Organizations?
To find the current status of minorities in business organizations I first had to define minorities. I found minorities to be best described as a person who is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States and who is either one or a combination of: African American, Alaskan Native and/or American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic or Women. Statistics showed growth in the number of minorities in corporate management positions, but what led to this growth and where does it stand in reference to the number of minorities in the population of the United States? Between the years 2000 and 2010 the U.S. population grew by 27.3 million people. Of this 27.3 million people over 25 million were minorities, equal to 91 percent of growth in the U.S. population. I will be covering laws written to ensure equal opportunities for minorities, as well as a term known as a “glass ceiling” and how it affects minorities. Many organizations have developed programs to assist minorities in their mission to climb the corporate ladder. Are these programs successful, and finally examples of ways minorities can continue growth in business organizations.
The 1960’s proved beneficial to minorities with laws such as “The Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and the Executive Order 11246.” The Equal Pay Act forbids employers from paying employees different wages or salaries based on sex. The act mandates that employers may not pay men and women different wages if their jobs require equal skills, effort, and responsibilities and occur in the same work environment. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in hiring, firing, promotion, assignment, and other treatment of persons in the workplace based on race, color, national origin, religion, or sex. Title VII applies to both public and private employers, employment agencies, and labor unions with fifteen or more employees or members. Finally, the Executive Order 11246 issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson which states the companies that do business ($10,000 or more annually) with the government must take action to increase the number of women and minorities in their employment ranks. With these laws in place today, they help the 111.9 million minorities which equal 36% of the United States population. In reference to the number of women and minorities on corporate boards, the numbers are not astronomical yet with the numbers growing each year we are going in the right direction. In 2003, 89% of the corporate boards in the Fortune 500 had at least one female director accounting for 13.6 percent. Examination of the Fortune 1000 companies revealed that only 34 of the 10,314 board seats were held by minorities. Forty years after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act that forbade workplace discrimination and Executive Order 11246, signed by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, that prodded firms to promote management diversity, many companies still practice their own subtle brand of workplace apartheid. Apartheid I found to be defined as a policy or practice of separating or segregating groups. Despite the well-publicized rise of O’Neal and other black executives at AOL-Time Warner, American Express and Aetna, black CEOs are still a rarity at most of the Fortune 1000 corporations. The overwhelming majority of senior managers at these companies are white males, and as is evident from the rash of management discrimination lawsuits, women and minority managers are still paid less on average than their white, male counterparts. They are still just as likely to be forced into departments such as head of “special markets” or “minority affairs.”
Women and minorities are climbing the corporate ladder everyday, although they are not increasing numbers greatly they are achieving positions not recently held by women or minorities. Many would say the reason they are not CEO’s or corporate leaders...
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