discussion Board this week
This week we will discuss a controversial topic – Affirmative Action! There has been a lot of discussion and confusion about Affirmative Action – what it is and what it is not, including what it affects – in the media over the last two decades. Federal contractors are required by Executive Order 11246 to engage in “affirmative action” in hiring women and minorities. Following are some discussion questions to get the discussion started. Please look up articles and the textbook to back up your postings – please refrain from making this entirely “opinion” based, although some opinions are okay too. You do not have to address each question, simply address the questions which spark interest to you the most.
- What is affirmative action? What exactly do you think of when you hear this term?
- Is it important to promote the diversity of the work force through the hiring and promotion of women and minorities? What about people with disabilities or veterans? If so, why? If not, why not?
- How appropriate are each of the following types of affirmative action?
- Recruiting from minority or all-female colleges and universities.
- Advertising job openings in minority‑oriented or female-oriented publications.
- Providing additional training and development opportunities for minorities and women.
- Having goals for the hiring of women and/or minorities. Hiring a certain “quota” of women and/or minorities.
- Adjusting test scores (e.g., race norming) to allow for more minorities to be hired.
- What are the positive consequences of having an affirmative action program? What are the negative consequences?
- If a firm wanted to engage in some type of affirmative action, what are some steps they could take?
When you finish respond to 3 students I uploaded the file \
Week 2 DB – Affirmative Action – John DeLucia
Affirmative action can certainly be a hot button issue as many people have strong feelings about this topic. To start affirmative action was established by President Lyndon B. Johnson with executive order 11246. The executive order only applied to contractors and subcontractors and required “employers receiving more than $10,000 from the federal government to take affirmative action to ensure against discrimination, and those with contracts greater than $50,000 to develop a written affirmative action plan for each of their establishments within 120 days of beginning the contract” (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2019, pg 116). Affirmative action was meant for employers receiving federal funds to take extra effort to attract and retain minority employees (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2019). However, affirmative action has come under fire when companies use quota systems that can be perceived as reverse discrimination. With all that being said, when I think of affirmative action, I do not think of it in terms of HR or the business world, I think of it in terms of higher education and the numerous legal battels that have been fought around affirmative action and college admissions. In 1997 the University of Michigan faced two lawsuits, Gratz v. Bollinger and Grutter v. Bollinger, in which their affirmative action policies were called into question (CNN, 2020). The Gratz v. Bollinger case, which was decided by the Supreme Court in 2003, sticks out in my memory. It declared that UofM’s undergraduate policy in which a point system gave specific weight to minority applicants was ruled unconstitutional in a six to three decision (CNN, 2020). I remember this decision because there was a lot of people that believe that affirmative action was dead. Since that decision in 2003 there have been multiple other cases that have been heard by the Supreme Court and other lower courts; it is clear to see that affirmative action is still around and still causing debate (CNN, 2020). I believe that there are a lot of misconceptions about affirmative action and many people like to frame the discussion purely around college admissions.
Bringing this back to a discussion about business and HR I do believe that it is important for organizations to create a diverse workforce. Countless articles and studies have shown that a diverse workforce is extremely beneficial to organization, as people from different backgrounds bring unique perspectives to the organization which can give them a competitive advantage. Given the fact that minority groups, especially Africa-Americans, statically preform worse on cognitive ability tests than whites organizations should ensure that they are designing hiring practices that do not hurt protected classes. Additionally, I believe that affirmative action in the hiring process is a useful tool to promote diversity as long as it does not result in reverse discrimination or use some sort of a quota system. In general Americans support affirmative action. A 2018 Gallup poll asked Americans “do you generally favor or oppose affirmative action programs for racial minorities,” and 61% of Americans where in favor while 30% were opposed (Newport, 2020). However, a 2019 Pew Research poll asked “When it comes to decisions about hiring and promotions, do you think companies and organizations should take a person’s race and ethnicity into account, in addition to their qualifications, in order to increase diversity in the workplace (or) should only take a person’s qualifications into account, even if it results in less diversity in the workplace” and 74% chose the latter alternative (Newport, 2020). Given those two polls where does that leave us? People support affirmative action but they do not think that a person’s race and ethnicity should be taken into account in the hiring process. I believe that organizations will need to find creative ways to attract and hire individuals from protected classes. I think a great step is to advertise jobs at historically minority or female colleges and advertise in minority-oriented and female-oriented publications. I believe that if organizations can attract a larger protected class applicant pool, they will be able to find candidates that are qualified for the position without having to adjust test scores. Affirmative action is a nuanced topic that will continue to be fought in the legal system. As HR professions we need to understand the current situation of affirmative action and find ways to build diversity in our organizations in a legal and sustainable way.
CNN. (2020, April 26). Affirmative Action Fast Facts. Retrieved September 5, 2020, from /affirmative-action-fast-facts/index.html”>https://www.cnn.com/2013/11/12/us/affirmative-action-fast-facts/index.html
Newport, F. (2020, August 7). Affirmative Action and Public Opinion. Retrieved September 05, 2020, from https://news.gallup.com/opinion/polling-matters/317006/affirmative-action-public-opinion.aspx
Noe, R. A., Hollenbeck, J. R., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. M. (2019). Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage (11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
Week 2: Discussion Post Affirmative Action
“Employers receiving more than $10,000 from the federal government must take affirmative action to ensure against discrimination, and those receiving $50,000 from the federal government must develop a written affirmative action plan for each of their establishments within 120 days of the beginning of their contract” (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2021). “For federal contractors and subcontractors, affirmative action must be taken by covered employers to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans. Affirmative actions include training programs, outreach efforts, and other positive steps. These procedures should be incorporated into the company’s written personnel policies. Employers with written affirmative action programs must implement them, keep them on file and update them annually” (n.a).
When I hear affirmative action, it makes me think back to when I was a student co-op at an Energy company. We were going over their AAP’s and my then boss was delineating why we it was imperative to review and update them. She explained to us, me and my then colleagues, that we were completing these to be in compliance with the federal government. It was several spreadsheets completed by the Compliance Department and we had to go over each line item one by one. It usually took days or sometimes an entire week to complete. It was interesting to learn about AAP’s and why the company was so adamant about their outreach efforts in certain academic associations such as NSBE(National Society of Black Engineers), SHPE(Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers), SWE(Society of Women Engineers), and NBMBAA (National Black MBA Association). They often traveled to HBCU’s to recruit underrepresented candidates and alumni in the STEM field.
I believe it is extremely important to promote the diversity of the workforce through hiring and promotions of women and minorities. According to 6Q blog, diversity increases productivity and profits, improves creativity, employee engagement, cultural insights and company reputation, and offers a wider range of skills. All things contributing to helping a company create and sustain a competitive advantage.
Clarke, L. (2020). 6Q. Retrieved from 8 Amazing Benefits of Cultural Diversity in the Workplace: https://inside.6q.io/benefits-of-cultural-diversity-in-the-workplace/
n.a. (n.d.). U.S. Department of Labor. Retrieved from Affirmative Action: https://www.dol.gov/general/topic/hiring/affirmativeact
Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. (2021). Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage. New York; NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
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Affirmative Action Response
Affirmative action is a topic that is surrounded by controversy and opinions that vary from person to person. “Affirmative action was originally conceived as a way of taking extra effort to attract and retain minority employees.” (Noe, Hollenbeck, Gerhart, & Wright, 2021). The beginning of the program had the best intentions. There are little that would argue with the purpose and intent as it was introduced. Having a diverse workforce helps boost productivity and makes the company stronger in problem solving and handling difficult times due to the different views of the problem.
Having a diverse management staff is helpful when dealing with a diverse workforce in general. The ability to identify with the management team and see that there is room for advancement helps moral and employee engagement. The plant I work at has a diverse hourly workforce but is limited in the diversity when it comes to front line supervisors and management staff. There are apparent shortcomings when it comes to dealing with sensitive issues, especially the climate that we are all experiencing right now. Our HR department has been involved in sensitivity awareness and training seminars to help bring the situation to the forefront. It has been received well be only at about 50% of what I thought it would.
As a senior in high school I remember talking about going into the State Police Academy. I was shocked to hear from my government teacher that I would have to score higher on the test than others due to my race. I didn’t understand. It took a lot of discussion with my family but it was communicated what was going on and the reason why. I was not upset but realized at that time I like the idea of affirmative action, like what it does, like the opportunities it offers to both the company and the employees, but I do not like the idea of using a quota.
Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B., & Wright, P. (2021). Human Resource Management: Gaining a Competitive Advantage. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.
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Affirmative Action Response
According to Sindy Lopez, a publisher for JSTOR daily discussed how affirmative action desires to enhance the representation of women as well as minorities in employment and higher learning—places in which they’ve been historically refused. It’s funny when I think of the word affirmative action I think of the first time I had ever heard it and it was a discussion about my left-handedness years ago and if it is now considered affirmative action or not. I never really realized how much easier it is for right handed people to do certain things over me. I definitely have many disadvantages naturally but this is for sure included unbeknownst to me initially.
It’s always a plus to diversify the work place, no matter what the differences are. So yes it’s important to promote it in the work force through hiring and promotion of women and minorities EASILY. People with disabilities as well as veterans all give insight and bring different skills and qualities that may be needed for the bottom line of a company.
· I think that recruiting from minority or all-female colleges and universities would actually be dope and very appropriate; all of the recruiting doesn’t have to stem from there but it’d probably be a great pool of candidates to choose from.
· Now adjusting test scores would be a hard one for me to decide on if it’s fair or not but technically it isn’t FAIR how the education systems are set up for minorities — to all be judged on the same scale for admittance into universities and colleges.
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