Affirmative Action, An Executive Order Orchestrated By President John F. Kennedy

Affirmative Action, An Executive Order Orchestrated By President John F. Kennedy

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Affirmative Action, or “Positive Discrimination”, was introduced to society as an executive order orchestrated by President John F. Kennedy in the early 1960s.At a time when a nation struggled with social, racial, gender, and economic inequality, Affirmative Action was set in place with the intention that it would allow disadvantaged minorities, disabled individuals veterans, and women access to equal opportunity employment and educational opportunities. The United States is not the only country to have adopted affirmative action as a means of preventing discrimination. Some countries go further in clearly defining what is considered discriminatory and therefore not permissible by law. The UK goes beyond the constraints of quotas, favoritism due to gender, race and ethnicity to include admission to associations to private clubs or the use of public services. Although the intentions of this order seemed straightforward and benevolent, it only considered the time period in which it was brought to light and did not seem to project the future ramifications and confusion that enforcing or simply defining it would cause educational institutions and employers alike. It is important to note that while Affirmative Action has had significant impacts on the livelihood of those whom it indented to help, it has backfired with allegations of reverse discrimination from individuals who claim that the fairness in which individuals are selected for positions should not be based solely on racial or ethnic disadvantages but more so based on merit and the capacity to which an individual has worked in order to earn a well deserved position.
Affirmative Action continues to be a topic of heated debate largely due to the question of how its appropriaten...


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...ings economic pressures to increase public and private employers’ demands for a highly trained workforce. Political pressures by women, minorities, immigrants and people with hindering disabilities result in legal changes in employment rights of group that were once excluded by law of custom from desired technical and professional jobs. As a result of these changes, organizations and managers must now design and implement workforce diversification programs that require changes in organizational missions, culture, policy and practice. Departments must be evaluated and a formidable strategic resources plan must be established in order to bring about change. Not only can these programs be extremely costly, but they can generate changed role expectations for all groups involved and create conflicts that will ultimately lead the lack of quality performance effectiveness.

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