Affirmative action was orginally designed to help minorities, but women-especially whitewomen-have made the greatest gains as a result of these programs(Gross, 1996). Affirmative action is agrowing argument among our society. It is multifaceted and very often defined vaguely.

Many peopledefine affirmative action as the ability to strive for equality and inclusiveness. Others might see itas a quote-based system for different minority groups. I agree and support affirmative actions in thatindividuals should be treated equally. I feel affirmative action as an assurance that the bestqualified person will receive the job.Is affirmative action fair? In 1974, a woman named Rose was truned down for a supervisory job infavor of a male.

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She was told that she was the most qualified person, but the position was going to befilled by a man, because he had a family to support. Five years before that, when Rose was about to fillan entry-level position in banking, a personnel officer outlined the womans pay scale, which was $25 to$50 month less than what men were being payed for the same position. Rose was furious because she feltthis was descriminating to her. She confronted the personnel officer and he saw nothing wrong with it.

Thanks to affirmative action today things like these situations are becoming more rare and/or correctedmore quickly. Affirmative action has definately helped women and minorities in their careers, but it hasyet to succed in the goal of equality to the fullest for the business world to woment and minorities.Some observers argue that women have made huge strides!with the help of affirmative action.

They now hold 40 percent of all corporate middle-management jobs,and the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 57 percent since 1982(Blackwood, 1995).Affirmative action was desinged to give qualified minorities a chance to compete on equalfooting with Whites (Chappell, 1995). Equal opportunities for the blacks, for the most part, hasremained more wishful-thinking than fact. Black students are continuing to struggle to seek aneducation, black business owners are still competing against their White counterparts, and black workersare experienceing an unemployment rate twice that of Whites and hold dead-end, labor-intensive,low-paying jobs. Few can argue that racism is still rampant in awarding craontcts, jobs, andeducational opportunities, eventhough its been proven benefical to have people of different races withdifferent ideas and different experiences working toward the same goal (Chappell, 1995).The employment outlook for minorities is grim, but not hopeless. We definaltely need affirmativeaction to overcome the disparities of employment that exist int his country.

A recent Urban Benchmarksstudy found that of 71 metro areas surveyed nationwide, Pittsburgh had the highest rate ofemployment-related problems among non-Hispanic whites between the ages of 25 and 54 and the sixth highestrate among African Americans in the same age group. We have a lot of problems with basic education hereand if you dont have basic education, you have no chance of getting a good job because competition isincreasing for everyone. We must make sure that we educate our potential work force, includingminorities, or our competitive edge, if we have one, will continue to decline in golbal markets. Manyjobs today are in the technician and technologist area. Jobs require more than a high-schooldiploma,but less than a four-year degree–such as an associate degree or certificate fro!m a vocational or trade school (Kovatch, 1996). As more and more women faced discrimination in largefirms, more decided to strike out on their own. In conclusion, most Americans know that the deck is stacked against poor kids.

They also realizethat, because of past discrimination, an extraordinary number of those facing unequal opportunities areblack. So, while 75 percent of Americans oppose racial preferences, according to a 1995 WashingtonPost/ABC poll, two-thirds with to change affirmative actionprograms rather than do away with thementirely. But the public also realized that, in real life, the legacy of discrimination is not alwaysso neat. It is diffuse, and it requires a broader remedy.

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