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1. What were the legal issues in this case? What did the appeals court decide?

2. What are the obligations of an employer regarding the retention of records related to recruiting? What problems does the court identify with Target’s record-retention practices?

3. What is the evidence that the store team leader Armiger was aware of the race of the applicants? That race was a factor in the applicants not receiving interviews?
4. What changes would you recommend to Target’s recruiting and hiring practices? What should the role of store managers be?

History of Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is referred to the procedures undertaken with the aim of protecting the minority communities—especially the people of color, women, transgender, aboriginals and many more. The dawn of Affirmative Action in US was seen in the 1960s with the main motive to fight discrimination based on race and skin color, as well as discrimination based on sex and gender (Ma & Schapira, 2017). History of intolerance and slavery subjected towards Native Americans were one of the earliest ways of oppression based on race and skin color leading to the modern day issues of increasing economic and health disparity amongst the various classes of the society.

Even though the views regarding racism have changed over time, yet the subverted practices of discrimination remain internalized in the normative narrative. In general, a non-white individual’s access to services and privileges are extremely limited in a white-dominated society; similarly, discriminations based on gender, race and religion also help in enhancing class disparities (Malloy, 2014). Therefore, affirmative action or policies that safeguard the basic human rights and necessities of the powerless minority communities have a huge impact on various aspects of civil society and has the capability to influence the normative colonial discriminatory mindset towards the minorities.

Taking into consideration the employment scenario in US, affirmative action has significantly helped in improving participation of women and other minority communities in the daily workforce of the country. One of the main motives of affirmative action, also known as ‘quota’, is to empower women and other minority communities by allowing them special privileges as against their powerful white-male counterparts. According to (Park & Liu, 2014), the legal frameworks of affirmative action control the discriminatory practices that pre-exist in the system and allow certain benefits to the minorities, so as to empower them and encourage them to join the work force.

Affirmative action helps the minority communities to have an access to diverse employment facilities that are available in the employment market (Karavdic & Limbach-Reich, 2017). It diminishes the difference between employment privileges enjoyed by the elite, white communities and the minority communities as well as women. It provides protected classification to specific minority communities and reserves representation from each group, so as to include their specific needs in employment sector. The chief federal classifications, to protect the recruitment of minorities, come under race, nationality, age, gender, skin color, disability, sexual orientation, mental disorders, and many more.

Appropriate affirmative action can be carried out only with the aim to rectify the disparities caused due to discrimination in the workforce; using the reservation to further enhance the discrimination would be a failure at implementing affirmative action. Preferencial Hiring or Exclusive Admissions for the minorities could help reduce the discrimination by empowering the abandoned groups and communities, as opposed to preferencial hiring for the privileged communities (Meshelski, 2016). Appropriate affirmative action help in promoting diversity and makes a work force multi-culturally competent.

Affirmative Action and Employment

The regulations for Affirmative Action have considerable influences over almost all spheres of workforce management (Goetsch & Davis, 2014). Effectiveness of training programs can be measured with the proper decision-making skills that help in strategizing the management of a multi-cultural workforce. Access to professional training services by professional trainers has multiple benefits like, gaining first-hand knowledge from professional legal advisors, understanding the necessity and practical impacts of amendments in legal structures, enhancing productivity by providing an in-depth insight to the organizational structure and needs of an institution, and many more.

Considering the current socio-economic-political structures of US, the vast inequity amongst the various classes and groups of the society keep a major section of the population excluded from the main workforces—due to lack of experience, knowledge and training facilities (Karas, 2015). The privileged white population heavily dominates the total workforce of America, excluding the minority communities from contributing to the gross domestic income. Lack of expertise and knowledge amongst the minorities including women drastically reduce their competence in the global employment force. Therefore, special training is necessary exclusively for the minorities in order to empower them with in-depth knowledge and skill so that they can be equally competent and productive.

Affirmative Action Training is an important strategic tool that imparts crucial knowledge and information regarding the efficient functioning of a culturally inclusive workplace (Verloo, 2013). Compliance of Company policies with the fundamentals of Affirmative Action Plan has abundant influences on the effectiveness and efficiency of management strategies. Understanding the different processes of an organization is essential to formulate strategies suitable to the specific threats and opportunities. According to (Binder, 2016) Vivid knowledge of managing a multi-cultural workforce and more importantly, the necessity to include minority communities in the global workforce is the most important impact of Affirmative Action on training modules.

Relationship of race and gender diversity with the performance of a Company defines the development of the organization in respect to policies and practices that discriminate on the basis of gender and race (Hoogendoorn, Oosterbeek & Van Praag, 2013). In order to enhance the productivity of the total workforce, compliance with Affirmative Training Plan helps to empower the backward communities in the workforce, who have been long excluded from most privileges of training, education and experience. Emphasis on the diversity of workforce helps to strategize the management of a multi-cultural population in way that encourages absolute utilization of employed resources (Saxena, 2014). Diversity in workforce brings in diversity in skills and experiences and therefore makes for a strong team.

Specialized Training for Minority Communities

Proficient utilization of employees’ capabilities is another important impact of complying with Affirmative Action strategies. The AAP (Affirmative Action Plan) considers the existing diversity in the workforce and accordingly evaluates the requirements and capabilities of the employees to have a better insight at the productivity of the organization. Better understanding of diverse groups leads to better acceptance of diversity within the organization (Lopez, Gonzalez-Barrera & Cuddington, 2013). Encouraging mutual respect and understanding amongst the various classes, gender, skin colors, races, orientations and disabilities is a noteworthy development in the organizational performance.

Last but not the least, most organizations cater to clients who are multi-diversely spread out all over the globe. In order to provide efficiently for the customers, a Company needs to comprehend the dynamic needs and expectations of the diverse community of customers. In the global market, the diversity of demands and requirements of customers depend on the multi-diversity of the customer force. Hence, a diverse workforce, inclusive of representatives for all segments of society, better achieves customer satisfaction.

Affirmative Action Plan is a management tool to encourage the promotion of a work-process that is inclusive of diversity in gender and race respectively. It emphasizes on the existing unequal power-relations between a male employee and female employee of an organization (Gill, 2014). It stresses on the adverse impacts of marginalization of women and minority races on the productivity of a workforce and promotes a more culturally inclusive workspace, devoid of any kind of discrimination based on gender, race, skin color and nationality. The effort to reduce normative gender stereotyping in employment sectors promotes gender equality in national and international workspaces. Similarly, restricting the practices and interactions that encourage racist philosophies and/or intolerance towards blacks/Hispanics, helps in promoting a color-blind workforce, devoid of prejudices against people of color.

AAP is a strategic management instrument that promotes the value of equality, especially in the public and private employment sector (Boe, 2014). They are used as essential tools to efficiently manage utilization of human resources. Discrimination based on gender and race leads to the access of undue dispensation for the privileged classes. Biasness towards the privileged section of the society indulges in nepotism and corruption through affiliation. This drastically affects the quality of services and products provided by the organization. Therefore, promotion and management of equity and diversity is one of the major impacts of implementing Affirmative Action Plan. Affirmative Action does not only investigate the various inequities hidden in discriminatory practices but also promotes a more gender-sensitized and color-blind world in general.

Impact of Affirmative Action on Organizational Performance

Affirmative Action is directly related with the procedures of federal contracts and audits of an organization. Proactive recruitment of employees, emphasizing on the promotion of working women and other marginalized communities has to be complied with by the federal contractors of an organization. The US government’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs looks after the organization’s compliance with the affirmative action plans. The federal contractors are responsible for enforcing the affirmative action guidelines in order to ensure the ongoing compliance. This reduces the risk of faulty audit and avoids the risk of being penalized by OFCCP for failing to adhere to the affirmative action guidelines.

This requires the business managers to be aware of equal employment opportunity duties and promote equity through empowering the marginalized communities (Cascio, 2018). The plan stresses on strictly following the guidelines to ensure zero tolerance towards racial and gender discrimination, on an international level. Adhering to the OFCCP guidelines ensures further contracts, national and international, that promotes business with companies that adhere to the same guidelines (Walsh, 2015). The OFCCP enforces certain civil rights requirements for all employees, irrespective of their race, sex, gender, color, to all the organizations that use federal contract, sub-contract or construction construct. Monitoring the AAP compliance is an ongoing process looked after by the human resource professionals. However, investment behind setting up effective Affirmative Action Plan is huge and the human resource manager needs to have proper communication with the other operational processes in order to keep a check on the entire process (Niederle, Segal & Vesterlund, 2013). The initiatives and management strategies applied by the contractor is inspected and evaluated by the AAP guidelines; it evaluates the statistical data of number of women and minority communities participating in the contractor’s workforce.

Empowerment of working women was greatly influenced by the application of Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action programs for women include reaching out to multiply skilled and experienced women in the work force. It provides a fair opportunity to all individuals, irrespective of their gender, at the recruitment offices or training centers. The training centers further encourage and inspire the women to prepare themselves for higher positions in managerial levels. It recognizes the areas where women are under-represented and takes steps accordingly to rationalize the representation (Morley, 2014). Their aims and objectives are flexible so as to allow more women to come forward and take up the jobs with confidence.

Relation to Federal Contracts

Similarly, the affirmative action plan provides for the people of color and aims to remove racial discrimination amongst the Hispanics, Native Americans and other indigenous tribes of America (Wade, 2017). With progress in Eurocentric civilization, these groups and communities have been abandoned and excluded from the general work force and income of the country. Emphasizing on the proactive recruitment, training and promotion of people of color helps to a great extent in empowering them and making theme equally competent in respect to the rest of the workforce.

Recruitment of the marginalized communities as the employees of an organization leads to the correct representation of the specific needs and requirements of the community (Premji et al. 2014). In order to bring about an all-round reduction in the discrimination processes, the marginalized communities should be given voice to express their demands. Affirmative action provides the marginalized and oppressed communities to voice their own opinions and demand the basic rights of humanity.


To conclude, the impacts of affirmative action plan are multi-diverse. Implementation of the affirmative action is not only helpful but also extremely necessary in order to maintain a multi-cultural workforce devoid of discrimination based on gender, race and skin color. It is a systematic process aiming to change the effects of prior discrimination in workplace and replace them with effects of a strong and multicultural workforce. Its main objective is to provide equal employment opportunities to all individuals, irrespective of their gender, sex, color and orientation. Affirmative action is dedicated to the specific groups who have histories of oppression and marginalization.


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Boe, O. (2014). Changing Knowledge Management Strategy in the Norwegian Armed Forces: A Discussion of Effects-Based Thinking as an Alternative Method in the Planning and Execution of Military Joint Operations. In Proceeding of Knowledge Management International Conference (KMICe), Malaysia, 12th-15th August (Vol. 1, p. 2).

Cascio, W. (2018). Managing human resources. McGraw-Hill Education.

Gill, R. (2014). Unspeakable inequalities: Post feminism, entrepreneurial subjectivity, and the repudiation of sexism among cultural workers. Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State & Society, 21(4), 509-528.

Goetsch, D. L., & Davis, S. B. (2014). Quality management for organizational excellence. Upper Saddle River, NJ: pearson.

Hoogendoorn, S., Oosterbeek, H., & Van Praag, M. (2013). The impact of gender diversity on the performance of business teams: Evidence from a field experiment. Management Science, 59(7), 1514-1528.

Karas, D. (2015). Highway to inequity: The disparate impact of the interstate highway system on poor and minority communities in American cities. New Visions for Public Affairs, 7, 9-21.

Karavdic, S., & Limbach-Reich, A. (2017). Rehabilitation of People with Psychiatric Disabilities in Sheltered Workshop in Luxembourg: Employment Facilities as a Social Pillar for Vulnerable Groups. In The 9th International Conference of the Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences University of Zagreb (p. 60).

Lopez, M. H., Gonzalez-Barrera, A., & Cuddington, D. (2013). Diverse origins: The nation’s 14 largest Hispanic-origin groups. Pew Research Center.

Ma, C., & Schapira, M. (2017). The bell curve: Intelligence and class structure in American life. Macat Library.

Malloy, T. H. (2014). National Minorities between Protection and Empowerment: Towards a Theory of Empowerment. JEMIE, 13, 11.

Meshelski, K. (2016). Procedural justice and affirmative action. Ethical theory and moral practice, 19(2), 425-443.

Morley, L. (2014). Lost leaders: Women in the global academy. Higher Education Research & Development, 33(1), 114-128.

Niederle, M., Segal, C., & Vesterlund, L. (2013). How costly is diversity? Affirmative action in light of gender differences in competitiveness. Management Science, 59(1), 1-16.

Park, J. J., & Liu, A. (2014). Interest convergence or divergence? A critical race analysis of Asian Americans, meritocracy, and critical mass in the affirmative action debate. The Journal of Higher Education, 85(1), 36-64.

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Verloo, M. (2013). Intersectional and cross-movement politics and policies: Reflections on current practices and debates. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 38(4), 893-915.

Wade, P. (2017). Race and ethnicity in Latin America. Pluto press.

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