Affirmative Action

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Affirmative Action

A series of policies a government or organization pursues to help a given demographic group, especially a historical minority, in work and/or education. Affirmative action may be mild; for example, race may be one of a number of factors a university considers when deciding admission. On the other hand, it may impose stringent requirements; for example, a government may oblige companies to abide by gender quotas when hiring.

Affirmative action as a policy is quite controversial. Proponents argue it helps engender equality among groups in society. Critics contend it does (or at least can) reward less qualified persons at the expense of more qualified persons.

The term "affirmative action" is predominantly American. The concept is called positive discrimination in the United Kingdom, employment equity in Canada and reservation in India.
References in periodicals archive ?
I will first briefly discuss the employment equity policies, followed by a discussion of the research on factors responsible for support or opposition to such policies among the general public.
Both organisations had declared a strong commitment to employment equity but had also encapsulated a valuing of diversity goal in their strategic plans.
Organizations [including universities] that have 100 or more employees and want to bid on a federal government contract of $200,000 or more (including research grants)must first sign a 'Certificate of Commitment' to implement employment equity. (Agocs and Burr, 1992) This initiative was followed by the 1995 Federal Employment Equity Act.
Evelyn, Samantha, and Winona support antiracism education and employment equity policies.
The road to employment equity has been long and tortuous, and still the end is not in sight.
(3) The 1986 and 1991 HALS are a critical part of implementing the Employment Equity Act.
It may also be the case that South African companies were caught napping by the swiftly imposed Affirmative and Employment Equity regulations.
The minister's Advisory Board on Canadian Forces Gender Integration and Employment Equity gave the CF a failing grade, and suggested "employment equity has little chance of success unless all leaders are committed to and held accountable for results." Since favorable assessment leads to promotion, it is reasonable to expect that results will be obtained through measurable assessment of the implementation of employment equity objectives.
They called on all employers to operate "employment equity plans".
A controversial Health Canada drug evaluator, who has been a key figure in exposing the pressure on Health Canada evaluators to approve drugs of questionable safety, including bovine growth hormone, has been suspended without pay for speaking at an employment equity meeting.
Despite her own difficulties getting ahead, Lambart was fiercely opposed to employment equity. She took no one under her wing and adopted a hard-line approach: "I hate training people.

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