Promoting Affirmative Action in Organizations: Doubts and Minorities Issues

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 4
Words: 1125
Reading time:
4 min
Study level: Bachelor

Factors that Contribute to Erroneous Beliefs about Affirmative Action

The United States of America has a depressing history of discriminating against various groups’ equal opportunities and protections. However, the nation passed Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to halt discrimination aimed at people of color, individuals of a different religion, national origin, or sex in organizations with about fifteen or more workers (CFI, 2020). Affirmative Action, in contrast, is a rule intended to ensure that individuals with qualifications are afforded equal opportunities due to a history of discrimination leading to prejudice in employment positions. Inadvertent results of Affirmative Actions are evident when individuals have erroneous perceptions of the intended consequence of a policy (CFI, 2020). Interestingly, organizational scientists have limited knowledge about what constitutes an optimal Affirmative Action plan. There are scarce educational resources providing information on public perceptions and how these plans influence a business’ capacity to employ and recruit an efficient workforce.

Limited knowledge primarily affects organizations when Affirmative Action is considered preferential treatment, as the term leads many people to question its equality. This phrase is damaging to the policy’s development as it influences individuals to assume that it is developed to fulfill a company’s quotas and prevent scandals involving racial discrimination by hiring unqualified black people (Willingham, 2017). Affirmative Action is increasingly linked to the requirement for preferential or special treatment to a select group of people. This notion leads many people to exhibit hostility towards the policy despite being willing to support other forms of the policy. In such an instance, most people are likely to oppose the policy while supporting training programs to enable unqualified members of an underrepresented group to work in certain positions for an organization.

Furthermore, Affirmative Action policies also gain a negative rep when individuals perceive them as implemented to offset the wrongdoings of white majorities in past years. In this instance, individuals perceive that the policies focus on White guilt. Guilt refers to a situation where white individuals feel guilty about their ancestors’ actions. Interestingly, some of these individuals hail from families that did not participate in racial injustice, with some helping minorities during this period (Willingham, 2017). Referring to Affirmative Action as a form of compensation alleviates the notion that minorities do not have qualifications for their roles in organizations. The policy’s nature, making a particular group feel guilty leads many of them to oppose it. It is also illegal to hire black individuals to fill a certain quota and deviate from the policy’s intended effect (CFI, 2020). Individuals should discern that the policy’s requirement for employers to hire qualified applicants does not illustrate any form of preferential treatment.

Additionally, Affirmative Actions also posit a problem where white men fear that if their black counterparts were employed due to their membership positions, they would lose their roles to black workers. While there is a weak positive correlation between the additional hiring of minorities and a reduction in white men being employed, the statistics do not negate this notion. The civil rights act of 1964 states that replacing an individual (white man) without a credible reason is illegal (CFI, 2020). It is important to discern that Affirmative Action does not replace qualified employees. The policy actively provides a chance for eligible members of an underrepresented group to gain equal opportunities void of discrimination that would be unavailable without protection. Managing Affirmative Action means that white workers should not fear losing job positions to their minority counterparts, especially if they are unqualified for the roles.

The contrast between Perceptions that Minorities and Women that are Hired are Unqualified and the Notion that Unqualified Whites are sometimes Chosen over Qualified Blacks

Racism plays a significant role in Affirmative Action’s resistance due to the United States history. In this instance, modern racism theory posits that sentimental racial attitudes are acquired early in life. America’s background has ingrained racism that favors whites over other races, with blacks on the short end of the stick. It is difficult to overcome and requires various institutional changes to alleviate the notion of racial differences (Willingham, 2017). White employers believe that black workers would perform less optimally than their white counterparts in many instances. These individuals are likely to question blacks’ qualifications for a job or if they should be promoted.

Blacks face more criticism due to Affirmative Action as society does not question every minority group’s qualification for a role in employment. For instance, employers perceive Asian Americans differently from their black counterparts in terms of employment. This perception does not change even if the individual is hired under the Affirmative Action policy or another diversity management process (CFI, 2020). This varying notion could be attributed to Asians’ intelligence, thoughtful, and hard-working perception. In contrast, black individuals’ images are tainted since slavery as they were viewed as immoral, lazy, and unintelligent.

The difference between organizations considering unqualified whites for employment over qualified blacks and deeming minorities and women as unqualified involves racial perception. Many individuals do not consider Affirmative action legitimate as they do not realize these groups have to be qualified to get the work. The US and hiring institutions should publicly avail information on their hiring policies and illustrate these workers’ fitness for the role to deal with this issue (CFI, 2020). Organizations cannot hire unqualified individuals to fill a quota and are legally protected from such actions. Racial discrimination permeates the reasons a white individual would be chosen over their black counterpart despite having fewer qualifications for the job. Some ingrained racial biases consider whites as intellectually superior to blacks.

In such a situation, an employer would consider hiring an unqualified white person as they are deemed more competent. If individuals believe that Affirmative Action only considers race, they are likely to doubt black employees’ abilities. In this instance, individuals oppose preferential treatment programs in favor of merit principles, as work should be afforded to the most deserving individuals. Employees from minority groups face discrimination as employers do not believe they deserve the roles or promotions (Willingham, 2017). This stereotype of black individuals has a detrimental effect that will continue affecting people of this race and the policy’s image. They do not perceive that Affirmative Action elevates every qualified individual to the same level as their counterparts despite their race or gender, as opposed to the biased system currently in use around the world (CFI, 2020). Blacks have a more challenging time gaining employment due to racial issues and stereotypes. In contrast, considerations of preferential treatment led to women and minority groups being deemed unqualified for various roles. Nonetheless, there is a need to develop a better image for Affirmative Action to alleviate the notion of favoritism and hiring of incompetent people to fill quotas.


CFI. (2020). Affirmative action. Corporate Finance Institute. Web.

Willingham, A. J. (2017). What people get wrong about affirmative action. CNN. Web.