“Affirmative action” refers to the positive steps or policies executed in representation of disabled people, women and minorities in the areas of education, employment and business from which they have been historically kept out (Fullinwider, 2005). Affirmative action is an attempt to make the organizations to balance the diversified workforce. Affirmative action, as a policy, is usually said to be in place when a company or an institution takes reasonable action to remedy any discriminatory behavior, which has occurred in the past.
In this sense, affirmative action was developed because of the need to take `affirmative action` to as anti-discrimination activity. The potential benefits of Managing Diversity include increased employee and client satisfaction, increased productivity, and more inclusive management. The success of this program pivots on understanding, commitment and participation. The firm aims to prevent not only clear acts of favoritism, with the help of practice (Devoe, 1999).
Affirmative action policies are intended to support the development of good employment practices in respect of all employees and to promote equality and opportunity for all employees and job applicants on the basis of merit and the ability to do the preferred job (Comparison of Diversity, 1996). The best practices of equal opportunity include: Recruitment & Selection, Pay, Terms and conditions, Learning & Development, Staff Development, Working environment, HR Policies and Procedures (Esty, Griffin, & Hirsh, 1995). Diversity
Diversity is the approach to provide equal opportunities in a work place. It integrates the principle of that all workers should receive equal rights by ignoring the differences between the people in terms of their gender and race (http://www. ageconcernbirmingham. org. uk/CorpInfo/Default. asp#Diversity). By valuing these differences and qualities, managers may create an environment where everyone finds value for their individual talents, and where individuals’ skills and competencies are fully utilized (http://www.
ageconcernbirmingham. org. uk/CorpInfo/Default. asp#Diversity). In order to maximize its productivity, organization must create an environment that attracts and maintains highly skilled people who can commit to contribute their maximum potential towards the organization goals. A study regarding managing diversity in the public sector suggest that awareness of diversity allows better understanding of global customers’ needs, and provides access to greater labor pools (Cited in Agocs & Bur, 2000).
Diversity management provides the active working environment which values differences as assets, fully valves the potential of all individuals and invests the employees to achieve the goals of organization (Devoe, 1999). Organizations can manage diversity by educating people about differences and by defining the desired organizational culture and developing and implementing the plans to reach that desired position (Devoe, 1999). Managing diversity solves the problems of: managing differences, managing disagreements, managing relationships, managing conflicts, managing ignorance (Devoe, 1999).
Adoption of diversity policy brings to an organization a wide range of experience, ideas and creativity. At the same time, it enables the individual employee to work to utilize their full potential. Managing Diversity is the program which recognizes the association between the effective people management and increased organizational efficiency and productivity. It is nothing but about increasing the diversity at all levels of the sections as well as making the most of the talent inside the organization.
However, the inability to manage diversity in a proper way in the workplace can be extremely harmful and can costs the organization by creating negative image, high employee turn over rate, loss of advertising revenue discrimination suits, litigation time and money. Diversity can be managed by providing Equal Employment Opportunity, affirmative action and by categorizing and eliminating the biasing barriers in the recruitment, retention and upward mobility of employees, especially minorities, women, persons with disabilities and Developing positive employment strategies to achieve adequate representation of groups.
Equal employment opportunity and Affirmative action are important stages in the evolution of diversity management (Vines 1999). Managing diversity in work place means staff and managers recognize all others regardless of background, religious belief, gender, age or disability. Equal opportunities are concerned with keeping the organizational practices within the law and ensuring that all personnel decisions concerning pay, recruitment, and promotion are based only on the individuals ability to do their job well.
This is achieved through a systematic policy approach to all aspects of personnel activities. The establishment an equal opportunities policy is not just enough to mange diversity but it requires a system to check the implementation of that policy. Steps to managing diversity: – Developing a policy of equality in opportunities within the business. – Implementing a system to check the implementation of equal opportunities policy regularly. The Diversity management is different from the activities like equal opportunity and
affirmative action approaches in many ways. The principle of diversity management is to improve the organizational competitiveness and efficiency for business purpose and market advantage. Diversity management is not a policy practice exclusively targeting to fulfill the interests of excluded or under-represented minorities, but it should be an inclusive policy to protect the interests of all employees eg, like including white males. So making practical implementations to overrule such difference between employee groups is important in organizational policies.
Such types of equal employment practices encourage people to value their individual differences and to work more productively utilizing the differences of each other collaboratively. Barrier to manage diversity in U. S: There are structural, cultural, and semantic barriers in managing the diversity and to practice equality. According to the 2000 Census, about one third of the population was made up of minorities, consisting of persons of African American, Hispanic, Asian and other minority origin, compared with about one quarter a decade earlier (D’Vera Cohn and Darryl Fears as cited in Gerald E.
Caiden) Civil service requirements and the agencys culture hindered diversity efforts. The effects of social networks, limited accountability in hiring, and inadequate communication of the vision for diversity also delayed the diversity initiative (Rangarajan & Black). In organization, the success of diversity depends on the support of top management. Rose Mary Wentling researched on the Factors that assist and barriers that hinder the success of diversity initiatives in multinational corporations.
In this research, he found that the integrating strategic plan of diversity initiatives with corporate strategic plan, culture to value the diversity, top management support are the factors that help the diversity initiatives and people not understanding the value of diversity, competing agendas, size and complexity of the corporation and economic changes were the barriers in hindering the success of diversity initiatives in multinational corporations. This notifies that the poor back up from the management means lack of affirmative activities in the organization to the diversified groups.
Affirmative actions & Diversity Affirmative action cites the policies meant to promote access to education or employment aiming at a traditionally on socio-politically non-dominant group typically minorities or women. It acts as an instrument to manage diversity. Motivation for affirmative action policies is to remedy the effects of past discrimination and to encourage public institutions such as universities, hospitals and police forces to be more representative of the population. Affirmative action takes a practical approach to achieve the equity in the work place.
Affirmative action is an attempt to redistribute economic power by forcing employers to give preference to women. Affirmative action programs are removes the prejudiced employment barriers and take action to promote equal opportunity for women in the workplace. In the U. S, Affirmative action is necessary to increase the representation of certain designated groups allegedly seeking to correct discrimination or bias in education and employment. Usually it is achieved through the use of discrimination and preferential treatment for those groups.
The truth of affirmative action: Traditionally, women are the victims of discrimination. During the 19th century, they were excluded from universities and unions, excluded from professions such as medicine, and they lost chance to earn. During the 20th century, the legal barriers confronting women cut down, one by one. But there is rests of legal inequality still exist in few cases like women and men repeatedly receive different sentences for the same offense. The war for affirmative action makes no sense if the goal is simply equal treatment before the law.
Affirmative action is based on the concept of socio-economic equality. Affirmative Action targets outreach to underutilized groups, helps prevent discrimination, legally mandated, measures good faith efforts in making affirmative action progress for minorities and women The two most commonly cited reasons for the continued need of affirmative action are the need to work against the effects of present racial discrimination and to provide compensations for the lasting effects of past discrimination. U.
S democracy is based on ideas that people are equal, that means men and women supposed to enjoy the freedom and equality of opportunity; that individuals should act as responsible to each other. These concepts involve that various groups in our society should integrate in educational, work and in other settings (Opponents of a California initiative to end affirmative action, 1996). Although there is substantial effort and progress, Minorities are strangely poor, and most of minority communities and institutions are not well integrated.
Schools in minority communities are typically have the less infra structure than the schools in other communities. Regularly the minority workers experiencing problems like less access to opportunities for promotion, training or higher pay, or verbal or physical harassment, once they have a job, (Wrench et al. 1999). In U. S several areas of education need affirmative action which can help to bring diversity in the U. S. colleges and universities that have highly selective admissions.
Affirmative action programs should: a) verify that inequities exist, b) set goals to eliminate the inequities, c) set timetables to meet the goals, d) disband the program after the goals are met. There is a strong need for affirmative action because of the following evidence: Affirmative Action acts as a bridge between changing the laws and changing the culture. The majority of families are depending on the income of women. Affirmative Action opens up education, employment, and business, families and communities have greater economic security (Berube, 2005).
Affirmative action is necessary to develop a strong workforce of nation like women and people from different color, backgrounds and economic classes. Such unrecognized potential will get the opportunity to enter the employment opportunities to work for the nation’s economy. In truth, affirmative action is a tool to encourage diversity and correct the inequities in the workplace, higher education, and government contracting. Affirmative action is necessary because there are very few women in the high level positions though the women can perform equally well and are able to meet the same high standards in corporate and economic decisions.
So, without such encouraging actions, women would not reach top positions to make a stand in the liberty. Affirmative action is necessary to women applicants to receive fair treatment as candidates for employment in all fields. Women and people of different color should have the chance to apply for the jobs in the trades, construction and also they should have access to professional jobs in engineering, medicine and the law as well as policy-making positions in executive suites and on
boards of directors (http://www. balancedpolitics. org/affirmative_action. htm). There is strong need of affirmative action until women and people of color get equal pay and education (http://www. balancedpolitics. org/affirmative_action. htm). Affirmative action attempts redress, it is a practical expression. It gives the opportunity for excluded groups in educational, employment and other settings where talent and hard work can pay off (http://www. balancedpolitics. org/affirmative_action. htm).
It opens familiar networks of power and influence also it increases opportunities and the possibility that advantaged people will recognize the capacities of `the other” rather than rather than `harming the beneficiaries` as some charge (http://www. balancedpolitics. org/affirmative_action. htm). Affirmative action programs effective than equal opportunity policies for combating or mitigating the negative effects of aversive racism because affirmative action programs are practical, including policies and procedures for ensuring a diverse applicant group.
Affirmative action does not imply quotas for hiring and promotion, which are in fact illegal. Nor does it necessarily mean preferential hiring. The goal is to bring together, in a self-conscious and active way that can counteract the effects of subtle bias in the form of preferential support in the form of instructing, a diverse group of fully qualified candidates for hiring or promotion. Affirmative action provides the opportunity for men into nursing and women brought into technology areas.
It is always advantageous to bring people to areas of work that they may not have considered otherwise. Some stereotypes may never be broken without affirmative action. In U. S for decades blacks were considered as less capable than whites (http://www. balancedpolitics. org/affirmative_action. htm). The affirmative action gave opportunity to black to show their capabilities. These types of stereotypes have started to change with the help of affirmative action (http://www. balancedpolitics. org/affirmative_action. htm). E.
g: 1990 black median family income, adjusted for inflation, crept snail-like from $21,151 to $21,423. But the proportion of black families earning above $50,000 jumped sharply, from about 10% to nearly 15%. Also Womens share of professional degrees grew from 2. 7% in 1960 to 36% in 1990 The above growth is the result of affirmative activities taken by the U. S government during the 19th century. The types of affirmative plans are as follows: Pure plans: These plans try to increase the number of applicants from underrepresented groups (Executive order on Affirmative Action, 2008).
These are also called as `opportunity enhancement` plans that involve proactive efforts to locate and recruit a larger number of individuals from the ill treated groups (Executive order on Affirmative Action, 2008). Limited Preference or tiebreak` plans: These plans go a step further than pure affirmative action plans by considering race or gender as a `plus` factor when evaluating the qualifications of applicants who essentially are equally qualified (Executive order on Affirmative Action, 2008). Quotas: These are the most aggressive and strong preferential treatment plans.
In these plans, the qualified members of a disadvantaged group may be preferred to more highly qualified individuals who are not in the affected group. The word race differentiates the people based on physical and cultural resemblance. Racism involves the concept of differences between people, in particular those, upon which the concept of race is based, determine cultural, or individual achievement, and it involve the idea that ones self-identified race or national group or others race or national group is superior.
Quotas distribute rewards not on the merit and skill but it is on the criteria of race. The people are fighting against racism because it involves the individuals intellectual ideas and moral characters are formed by individual physiology, and parentage rather than by their pleased choices and actions and it results inferiority complex in people. Since he has no self-respect or character that can’t be built from other ways, person tries to gain it through the unmeaning ways like race. Racism is intended to end favoritism and
unfair treatment of employees based on caste, creed or color, but in practice it result in creating a pavement to diversity. The non talented people may get through the opportunities where there is need for talent. Due to the racism biased quota the success is marked as result of approving action rather than hard work and skill. It avoids the equity for all. The talented people are being eliminated in the admissions and employment and also may not get appraisals comparatively within the organization where the system is promoting the people on racial factors.
A poor white student who can achieve best by discipline and hard work can be skipped by rich minority student who can’t show great effort at all (Joe Messerli, BalancedPolitics. Org) According to employment law, Quotas can be termed as special categories that a court ordered or approved hiring and/or promoting of specified numbers or ratios of minorities or women in positions from which a court has found they have been excluded as a result of unlawful discrimination.