MANAGING DIVERSITY AND CHANGE- EEO, AFFIRMATIVE ACTION 11
Action and Race and Gender
Action and Race and Gender
Summary of the class notes
The class notes of week 7 highlight the various roles that thejudiciary plays in protecting the rights of the minority groups suchas women and people of color in school admission opportunities andemployment opportunities. The class notes point out that the SupremeCourt had supported a decision by Michigan State to ban affirmativeaction in public universities enrollment. It is also clear thatstates which have banned affirmative action have recorded significantdrops in their admission of women and people of color into theirpublic universities. It apparent in the Tompkins v. Alabama StateUniversity case that affirmative action has attracted immenseinterest where a certain group of people seem to be favored over therest.
According to the class notes, affirmative action has been said tofavor white American women more than the other minority groups thatit is supposed to serve such as people of color. It is suggested thatthe first form of affirmative action was an executive order in 1961by the then President Kennedy that required all federal contractorsto employ and treat all employees equally regardless of their color,race or country of origin. By 1967, it had become apparent that womenwere also being discriminated and President Johnson included sex intothe list of the factors upon which people were being discriminated.
Since this inception of affirmative action, women are said to havemade great strides. There has been an increase in the number of womenin employment especially with companies working with the federalgovernment. However, there has also been an increase in the number ofwomen working in the private sector. White women, however, have beenviewed as the greatest beneficiaries of the affirmative action. Theclass notes point out that the success that women have achieved, aswell as other minority groups, should be an impetus to continue theaffirmative action and not to stop it. Affirmative action was aimedat ensuring that all organizations comply with the civil rights Actand was not meant to favor or offer any special treatment to anygroup of people.
Summary/analysis of chapter 8: Equal Employment Opportunity andAffirmative Action
In chapter 8, Equal Employment Opportunity and AffirmativeAction, Naff and associates, in Personnel Management inGovernment: Politics and Process, start pointing out to thedifference between Equal employment opportunity and affirmative. Theauthors assert that EEO is a program that was formed to preventdiscrimination at the work place. On the other hand Affirmativeaction or what has come to be known as affirmative action wasimplemented to ensure that there is diversity at the work place.Affirmative action seeks to ensure that there is representation ofthe minority groups in the work such as people of color and women, aswell as the disabled people. Naff and associates provide a briefhistory of what called for EEO and AA. Naff an associates argue thatAfrican Americans were discriminated upon and could not even getemployment opportunities in the United States, leave alone the issueof slavery.
Naff and associates also point out that women in the United Stateshave been discriminated historically. Prior to 1920, women were notallowed to vote in the United States. It is also evident that womenwere lowly represented in federal employment positions and lawallowed men to earn more man than women in the same position (Naff etal., 2013). Women were also subjected to social norms ridicule whichdenied them the gender identity as women if they worked for thefederal government. In addition, women in work positions were alsosaid to have been harassed by their male supervisors who sort sexualfavors (Mor-Barak, 2013).
The discrimination against women and other minority groups and theprotests by African Americans led to the development of the EEO. Thiscame in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt issued an order thatbanned the discrimination of employees based on their race, color,religion or national origin. The Fair Employment Practice Committeewas tasked with the responsibility of implementing the order. Thiscommittee, however, failed in its mandate and the Fair EmploymentPractices Board created by President Truman was the effective boardto deal with the problem of discrimination. The authors point out tothe fact that government had all indications that it was determinedto end the social inequalities that were prevalent in the UnitedStates. The enactment of the Equal Employment Act of 1972 was a clearindication that the country had made great strides towards ensuringthat there is nobody who was discriminated on the basis of color,religion, race or gender (Naff et al., 2013).
It is clear from the chapter reading that whereas the number ofwomen and other minority groups has increased significantly in theemployment sector, there are still few of them in the seniorpositions. Naff and associates have pointed out that the affirmativeaction has been a controversial aspect in the eyes of the law.Critics have argued that affirmative action is used to categorizepeople in terms of gender, race, color and country of origin. Theauthors point out to the fact that the human resource managers havethe responsibility of compiling a list of the gender and racerepresentation of their employees in a bid to enhance representationand cab discrimination. The human resource managers also tasked withthe responsibility of developed an action plan for affirmative action(Naff et al., 2013).
The United States has had a process through which discriminationissues are resolved. EEOC has been vital in ensuring that affirmativeactions are implemented. It is vital to note that different states inAmerica have varying EEO strategies, but all of them aim ateliminating discrimination at the work place. Naff and associatessuggest that there are two types of discrimination. There is theobjective discrimination and the objective discrimination (Mor-Barak,2013). One can be viewed by the outside world as being discriminatoryin nature while others view themselves having the nature of beingdiscriminated upon. These are the two forms of discriminationrespectively. Pay disparity between men and women has also been citedas a main form of discrimination where women earn less than men (Naffet al., 2013).
Summary/analysis of chapter 9: Diversity in the Workforce, of Naffet al
In chapter 9, Diversity in the Workforce, Naff andassociates, in Personnel Management in Government: Politics andProcess, start by pointing out that EEO and AA have given rise todiversity and that diversity is a different aspect to the two. Theypoint out to the Hudson Institute published a workforce 2020which was aimed at providing information to employees and employerson how the public workforce will be constituted in the 20thcentury in America. This publication suggested that the policies thatwere applied in the era when male whites dominate the public civilservice are long gone (Naff et al., 2013). There must be new policiesthat put into consideration the interests of women and the people ofcolor.
Representative Bureaucracy has been a key term in the civil serviceworkforce in the United States. The term has been used as a way ofenhancing representation of women and people color in the publicworkforce. The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 was an indicationthat congress was determined to ensure that there was representationin the workforce. The Federal Equal Opportunity Recruitment Program(FEORP) was developed as a result of the Act and it was aimed atensuring that the diversity of the American population wasrepresented in the workforce (Naff et al., 2013). Naff and associatesargue that there are various ways upon which agencies suggestrepresentation to be computed. One of the main and common ways is thepossessive representation. Under this form of representation, thepercentage of the minority groups in the workforce should be equal tothe percentage of the minority groups in the population. However, theauthors are quick to point out that the percentage of the minoritygroups should constitute of people aged 16 years and above. Naff etal repeat their point in chapter 8 that whereas there is a highrepresentation of the minority groups in the workforce, the number ofwomen and people of color employees still remains low.
Naff and associates continue this chapter by pointing out to theaspect of social equity which they argue that it is the fair andequal distribution of opportunities to the society. Naff andassociates argue that the challenge of developing an inclusiveworkforce is huge. Developing strategies that enhance representationof women, people of color, gays, lesbians and transgender people isnot an easy task (Naff et al., 2013). They suggest that the policies,human resource management and the organizational structure must bereviewed to ensure that they are inclusive and representative of thesociety.
Naff et al suggest that the management of any organization plays acritical role in enhancing diversity at the workplace. Apart fromhiring people from the minority groups, the top managers candemonstrate their commitment of ensuring that there is representationin the workplace. For instance, the managers can attend seminars andmeet with advocacy groups that seek to ensure that there isrepresentation in the workplace. The top managers can also offeradvice to the junior managers and employees on the relevance ofrepresentation and diversity at the workplace.
The authors have also pointed out to the fact that communication isa critical factor in ensuring that all employees at the organizationfeel represented and part of the organization. More often than not,employees feel discriminated as a result of a simple breakdown incommunication. For instance, an African American who applies for apromotion in an organization, which he believes he is qualified,might feel discriminated if he realizes a white man was promoted tothe same position and there was communication as to why he failed.According to the authors, the benefit systems of recruitment wasmeant to serve a homogeneous workforce many decades ago. Therefore,in order to ensure that there is representation and equality in theworkforce, new policies that enhance diversity must be adopted (Naffet al., 2013). The collection of data in regard to the composition ofa workforce in an organization is yet another aspect that the authorsconsider critical in developing a strategic plan to deal with theissue of diversity and representation.
Cultural competency, which is the respect for the various aspectssuch as history, traditions, beliefs and value systems, is anotherform of diversity issue that the authors point out in this chapter.It ensures that the various cultural groups are served equally. Theauthors concluding by suggesting that the society has a role inensuring that there is no stereotyping and that they change theirpast attitudes of discrimination against women and the people ofcolor.
Summary/analysis of chapter 7: Social equity and diversitymanagement
In chapter 7, social equity and diversity management,Klingner, Nalbandian and Llorens in Public Personnel Management:Contexts and Strategies, start by pointing out to that fact thatAmerica is one of the few countries in the world whose population isdiverse. According to the authors, this has been a challenge as itpresents the problem of equal representation for all the groups. Thisis a problem of social equity, which the authors start by assertingthat it can solved through equal employment opportunity, affirmativeaction and diversity management (Klingner et al., 2010). The authorspoint out to the difference between EEO and AA. According to theauthors, EEO is a policy that ensures that all employees are treatedfairly and equally. On the other hand, AA refers to the efforts thatare applied by employers to deal with issues of discrimination thathave occurred in the past. Diversity management, the authors argue,is a new form of strategy for social equity that seeks to ensure thatpeople from diverse, backgrounds such as culture, race, color and sexwork harmoniously and that they offer diverse views and talents tothe organization.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 has been the main law that deals withissues of social equity. However, it is clear that there are manymore laws and policies that deal with social equity. Equal EmploymentAct of 1972 was also a critical and remains a vital law that ensureseven the public sector adheres to the demands of social equity(Klingner et al., 2010). Affirmative action has for long beenvoluntary and force has only been applied as form of last resort.Klingner, Nalbandian and Llorens argue that there has been a longconfusion on which aspect should be used to achieve social equitybetween EEO and AA. The courts adopted the EEO principle, but laterthey have come to resort to AA as a means of achieving social equity.
In a bid to ensure that the minority groups are represented ingovernment contracts, the government developed a policy that wasaimed at offering contracts to minority groups and women. This wasdubbed set asides. However, the authors argue that this system wasabused by wealthy white people who registered companies withdirectors from minority groups and women to earn set aside contracts.Immigration has contributed to the aspect of diversity amongst theworkforce in the United States. It is estimated that approximately 12percent of Americans are foreigners who come to the US in search ofgreener pastures or education (Klingner et al., 2010).
According to the authors, diversity seeks to improve cohesionamongst employees of diverse cultures, backgrounds or countries oforigin, as well as increasing their productivity. Diversitymanagement requires that the organizational structure such ascommunication are reviewed to allow interaction and productivityamongst the employees. Employee involvement and participation areconsidered to be linked to diversity management and hence work handin hand to ensure efficiency and productivity. Diversity managementhas presented the challenge of managing employees of wide range ofages such as 60 years and above and the young generation of 20-30years (Klingner et al., 2010). Research has indicated that differentgenerations have varying needs, which the employer must meet.Different sexual orientations such as gay, lesbian, and bisexualshave also presented a diversity management problem while trying tomeet their needs.
Affirmative action has been said to have achieved its goal ofensuring that more women and minority groups such as the people ofcolor are well represented in the workforce. The AA laws have ensuredthat employers include minority groups and women in their workforcein order to ring about social equity.
The class notes and the reading chapter have all offered criticalinsight into the issue of representation and social equity in thework place. The class notes have pointed out to the fact that women,white, have been the main beneficiaries of affirmative action.However, I also noted from the class notes that even the people ofcolor have benefited from affirmative action. However, it was notclear why some states and the Supreme Court would stop affirmativeaction, yet its benefits are clear. The reading chapter 7 ofKlingner, Nalbandian and Llorens has enlightened me on the variousissues related to equal employment opportunity, affirmative actionand diversity management. It is now clear to me that these threeaspects are completely different but interrelated. It was helpful tome to realize the various AA laws that employers need to look into.Most importantly, I learned the value of appreciating diversity andrespecting other people’s culture, values and traditions.
Chapter 8 Naff and associates presented to me a precise and exacthistorical perspective of EEO and AA, which were criticallyimportant. I have learned that the fight for women representation hasbeen a long time battle. The people of color have also had to sufferbefore being regarded as equal citizens by the white people. It wasfulfilling to learn that the number of women and minority groups haveincreased in the employment sector. Chapter 9 continued with thisdebate, which was insightful in that I was able to realize the roleof the management and the leaders of organizations in ensuring socialequity. It was also informative to note that communication andcultural competency play critical roles in enhancing diversity. Inconclusion, all the week seven readings were insightful andinteresting to read. They have presented critical information inregard to social equity that is paramount.
Naff, K.C., Ricucci, N., and Freyss, S.F. (2013). PersonnelManagement in Government: Politics and Process (7th Edition).Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press.
Klingner, D.E, Nalbandian, J., and Llorens, J. (2010). PublicPersonnel Management: Contexts and Strategies (6th Edition). NewYork: Longman/Pearson
Mor-Barak, M. E. (2013). Managing diversity: Toward a globallyinclusive workplace.