Affirmative action is an active effort to improve employment and educational opportunities for members of a minority groups and for women. The affirmative action is used to ensure the respect of diversity within the public. It was implemented to provide equality in a workplace environment and education settings. In this essay, I will provide a brief history of affirmative action, explain all meeting goals and shortfalls and the impact of affirmative action in a workplace.
Affirmative action was first introduced by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. President Kennedy signed the Executive Order 10925, ordering “directed government contractors to take “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin (NCSL, 2010). Later in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson extended on Kennedy’s order to issue Executive Order 11246, which include women to the Civil Right Act. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “affirmative action began as a government remedy to the effects of long-standing discrimination against such groups and has consisted of policies, programs, and procedures that give preferences to minorities and women in job hiring, admission to institutions of higher education, the awarding of government contracts, and other social benefits (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2017). As a public policy, the affirmative action has helped build respect to the diversity of the public in school and workplace settings. Many employers and schools encourage diversity individuals to apply and become a part of their businesses or educational programs.
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Affirmative action main purpose is to establish a nondiscriminatory access to employment and educational opportunities for women, minorities or individuals with disabilities. Since it was first established till this day, affirmative action has been meeting the alleged goals it was set to address. Schools across the United States have added and are following the action by allowing a diverse of students to attend their school. Schools are allowing international students to attend and be part of their school programs. More employers are adapting affirmative action as their business model. According to Human Resources, “affirmative Action guarantee that policies, practices, and procedures that the employer implements are equal opportunity for recruitment, selection, advancement, and every other term and privilege associated with employment (Human Resources, 2016). Having a diversity workplace allows an employer to succeed by having multi-cultural employees who can provide assistance to a variety of people by overcoming language and cultural barriers. A downside of affirmative action is that it can create reverse discrimination. Meaning the workplace will hire a diversity of personal that can discriminate the majority groups which historically is white individuals. Another downside is that affirmative action’s policies can generate stigma between employees, in which can question why a minority or women obtain the work positon.
Affirmative action can produce a positive interpersonal relationship between employees in a workplace. Affirmative action creates a positive interpersonal relationship by increasing the opportunity and production. It can create a positive opportunity for everyone to advance positions, get promotions or an increase of pay rate within the workplace. Affirmative action can boost the productivity of a workplace by having the employees interact with one another to create new ideas. It can produce a social environment which is beneficial in terms of getting along and building interpersonal relationships. Diversity is one of the biggest strategies that could be implemented a positive environment at work. Enforcing a diverse environment for employees is beneficial as it increases the social interactions between different cultures. According to Samuel Hamilton, “when a workplace is not diverse, employees tend to grow complacent and comfortable, which can hurt their dedication to the job (Hamilton, 2015). This often happens due to lack of interaction with other people. With that being said, creating a type of activities in which employees are required to put their input on a topic or solve a problem as a team can be a great strategy to enforce for a positive environment.
In conclusion, affirmative action was first introduced by President Kennedy in 1961 in the Executive Order 10925. It was intended to offer equal opportunities to women, minority groups and individuals with disabilities in a workplace environment and education. Schools and employers adding the affirmative action to their guidelines as they are accepting more diverse individuals. The main purpose of the action was to create a positive environment; however, it does have some disadvantages such as creating stigma between employees. Overall, strategies can be introduced and enforced by employers to create a better interpersonal relationship between employees.
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