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The Role and Importance of Affirmative Action Plans - Term Paper Example

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The purpose of this paper is to examine the history surrounding the affirmative action plans, their use in present-day organizations, the controversy about them and to consider what this is likely to mean for the affirmative action plans in the future. …
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The Role and Importance of Affirmative Action Plans
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Download file to see previous pages The purpose of affirmative action plans is to ensure that there is equal opportunity for all people. However, this approach differs from a traditional equal opportunity approach, because equal opportunity attempts to eliminate discrimination when it occurs, but affirmative action plans are more active and aim to prevent discrimination happening2. This is an important distinction and is critical in the way that organizations develop and enact affirmative action plans.
Despite their prevalence throughout the United States and the legislative support that is present for them, there is considerable controversy about the use of affirmative action plans. Opponents argue that they promote discrimination through the process of reverse discrimination, where people who are not part of a minority group have fewer opportunities and benefits than those who are in a minority. 
People of racial or ethnic minority groups, as well as women, have often experienced legal or social exclusion in many areas. In the 1960s and 1970s, Hispanic Americans and African Americans were mostly segregated into low-income jobs, leaving some categories of employment for white males only, including fire departments and police departments in many major cities. In contrast, roles that required hard manual labor tended to be almost exclusively occupied by people from ethnic minorities. Although there were significant improvements to civil rights, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the creation of equal opportunities for women and minority groups was often difficult. This was in part due to the difficulties in implementing the changes and the fact that organizations could easily ignore the legislation, as many forms of prejudice are difficult to prove, despite being effective.
The civil rights movement resulted in the creation of Executive Order 10925 in 1961, which was the first introduction of the term affirmative action as a measure to introduce measures designed to remove discrimination within the workplace.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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