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Affirmative Action: UNJUST Or UNWARRANTED?

Affirmative Action: UNJUST Or UNWARRANTED?

Affirmative Action:

Justified or Unwarranted?

Abstract

Jack and Diane are both applying for a job in the advertising division of a leading national magazine. Both of these applicants graduated from very reputable colleges. Diane achieved a solid B average while Jack was rated slightly higher. Both ranked in the top one-third of their graduating class. Jack worked for a relative in a family owned advertising agency over the summer. Diane, who had to help out with her younger sisters and brothers, took some required classes over the summer so she would have more free time during the school year. She has no advertising experience.

Jack and Diane are both called in for an interview. The personnel officer notes that both seem intelligent, hard working, and in need of the job. Because of Jack’s experience in advertising and higher grade point average, he ranks slightly higher than Diane.

Who gets the job? That depends on the company they are interviewing with. In the past Jack would have received the job right away, regardless of rating. Two main reasons being because Diane is a woman, and because she is black. Until recently the firm wouldn’t have even considered hiring her, except possibly for a clerical position.

Today the situation is much different. Diane may be hired for the very same reasons she was rejected in the past even though Jack’s application looked better. This reason is to make up for past discrimination. To address this, the company has implemented a plan to increase its number of minorities in its advertising division.

Through the plan, “no prospective employee may be discriminated against because of their race or sex.” This plan is also used when firing, giving promotions, and when layoffs take place (Woods 6).

Jack and Diane are fictional, but the plan used to help them get their job is not. This plan is known as affirmative action. One source explains that affirmative action is “any steps taken by a company to increase the number or improve its ranks of minorities workers”(Woods 8). There are no easy answers to affirmative action; however, by learning about it, you will better understand the complex issues and the difficult decisions that have been made in the past and that will be made in the future....

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Category:   Business

Length:   10 pages (2,156 words)

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